Most of us want to live a little bit better. Be a little stronger. Look a little better. Feel a little more in control. We can talk about how we need to go to the gym more eat less “junk food”…while sitting around and eating chips. Our logical minds know we should do something better…but somehow we still don’t do anything about it. Why?
Keeping the status quo is easier, because that requires less effort. We’re in our current habits (and current results) for a reason. If living better were easier than or preferable to our current habits, we’d be doing it. But living healthier (eating better or moving more) requires change, and change takes effort…and effort takes more than thought. It takes action.
But if we imagine that the action required to make a positive change in our lives is too great, then we feel overwhelmed and give up, often before we even start. Or we start with a little bug in the back of our mind saying, “You won’t be able to do this…this won’t last.” And so it doesn’t. If we believe that something is impossible, it will become so.
But we don’t want to accept that living healthier is impossible for us, so we talk about our intentions to live healthier. We talk about it year after year, at work, at home, with friends, with family. But what separates the people who get results and the ones who don’t? Action.
Action can be big, but it can also be small. Imagine little actions that can add up to a lot: saving a small amount every week for retirement or writing one page a day to create a 365-page book at the end of a year.
The biggest accomplishments can result from the smallest of actions. It occurs with a belief, an intent and an action. And then another action. And another one.
I don’t care how big or small the action is. It can be walking around the block. Eating an apple. Putting down the last two fries in the basket or the last two spoonfuls of ice cream in your bowl. By choosing to do something rather than just thinking about it, you begin to prove to yourself that your word and intentions are worth taking action on. And that living healthier may, in fact, be possible.
My challenge to you: Every time you think you “should” do something healthier, take an action, no matter how small.
– Next time you think you should go to the gym, get up and do 10 jumping jacks.
– Next time you think you should have said no to a dessert, put your fork down and ask for it to be taken away (or throw it out).
– Next time you think that you shouldn’t have ordered that drink, give it to a friend.
– Next time you think you should take a break at work, get up and stretch or go get a glass of water.
The smallest of actions means more than the greatest of intents. What small actions did you take this week?