Small Steps

Sometimes we think we’re making small steps when we’re really make no steps.

A case in point: instead of drinking Coke someone chooses Diet Coke because they’re trying to lose weight and be more healthy. (How many times  have you read or heard something similar?)

This isn’t a small step towards health or weight loss, it’s no step. A small step would be to drink a glass of water instead of the Coke or the Diet Coke, which are both filthy, unhealthy, liquids.

Small steps, in this instance and many others, are more about mental progress than physical. Once the mental game is in check it’s much easier to make a bigger step.

Good questions to ask yourself:

What kind of small steps am I making? Are they a step forward or a step nowhere?

###

I’m interested in other small steps. If you have one, list it in the comments.

Here’s another I think about often. People who want to get fit, lose weight, etc., but drive everywhere, even short distances. When I lived in Austin (a walkable city) I had a rule that if it was 3 miles (5 km) or less I’d walk. Sure that meant I sometimes had to leave an hour early, but walking is good for you (not great as far as exercise, but good) and I had a chance to think and enjoy the outdoors.

3 miles might be a bit much for a lot of people. So, if you live in a city with public transport, get off a stop early on the way home and walk the rest. Or if you live in an area where you need to drive, park in the back of the parking lot. Refuse to use elevators. I live on the 4th floor of a building with no elevator. It is possible and will not kill you.

Build the attitude, the lifestyle, of fitness into your already busy schedule and it will snowball.

{ 8 comments… add yours }

Nicky Hajal

I really like my apartment here in Medellín – probably my favorite place I’ve ever lived in terms of living space.

Only thing that first frustrated me is that I’m up on a hill. In the heat, it’s kind of annoying to have to trek up this hill all the time. I swear it felt like a 15 minute walk.

Then, I decided to, at the very least, reframe it as a gauge for my body’s ability to adapt to the new physical conditions. Sure enough, it’s getting easier and easier and when I actually time it, the walk takes about 2-3 minutes.

It’s crazy how my initial negative frame made it feel literally 5 times worse than it actually was.

Reply

Karol

The great reframe! Nice work Nicky.

Reply

Olivia

I live on the sixth floor. I catch the elevator, although the other day I took the stairs. It was fine, although a bit scary because I’m not good with heights and the staircase has open risers. I think I’ll take them more often, the lift is slow anyway, and maybe it will help me with the heights thing as well.

Reply

Karol

I like it. Nice work Olivia.

Reply

Olivia

I’ve taken the steps quite a few times this week, thanks for the suggestion. I’m getting used to them, not too scary after all :)

Reply

Amanda Wintermans

For short distances up to 10 km in not too extreme conditions I usually walk or cycle (happily the Netherlands is a very bike and walk friendly country!). But the thing is: when I don’t go anywhere, I also don’t exercise a lot. So from now I’m going to exercise at least five minutes a day, whether I’m going anywhere or not.

Reply

Karol

I like it. You can also make any random excuse to go somewhere and get you moving. “I need to go see the river.” I have to do that a lot myself since I work from home and don’t like working at coffee shops or restaurants or anywhere with a bunch of people talking.

Reply

Amanda Wintermans

I guess that’s a good idea too!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: