goal setting

I have always said that healthy living shouldn’t require a major overhaul in your lifestyle. Even if you’re a bonafide couch potato, turning life upside down will likely result in short-term gains followed by a longer-term pain and frustration. Baby steps, not a huge leap forward, are more likely to result in healthy habits that stick.

Our culture tells us otherwise, however. Books that promise A NEW YOU IN 30 DAYS fly off the shelves like hot cakes; ones suggesting discipline, patience and time go unnoticed.

Change takes time, whether it’s economic recovery, weight loss or getting healthy!

When’s the last time you made lots of money, lost tons of weight or got in shape overnight?

The time is right

Fall, to me, is a good time to reflect on on eating and exercise habits – as well as life priorities in general. The days are shortening, the night-time activities are waning, the kids are back in school, and it’s harder to get up early in the dark mornings, just to name a few.

The winter hibernation can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and a little extra junk food. After all, it’s a least a few more months before we have to put bathing suit bodies on display again.

The starting point

Healthy living can be intimidating, especially when you’re setting goals and don’t know where to start. It’s easy to say “I want to eat healthier,” but you could achieve that goal in 100 different ways! Getting in shape or losing weight introduces a similar ambiguity. With so little clarity at the start, it’s easy to spin your wheels and make little progress at all.

Pick a spot

As summer transitions to Fall and Winter, what is your broader goal or interest? Here are a few examples to guide the way:

  • Lose a few pounds/Maintain your body weight
  • Get more fit/Stay in shape
  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Increase energy level
  • Improve work/life balance

There could be others as well, but my suggestion is to pick one category. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to start small and enjoy successes than think big and fall short.

Make it real

After selecting on a broader goal, we’ll start narrowing it down to more realistic and tangible steps. But not so fast!

Stay tuned as I continue a series on making healthy lifestyle changes that stick – without turning your life upside down.

To read more in this series:

Skip the Chips (and other Unhealthy Snacks)

Remove Stress

Meatless Monday

No More Excuses

About the author

Melinda is a marketer, researcher and writer. She also has a passion for healthy living, every day.