When starting to build a new healthy habit, most people ask themselves, “What can I do on my best days?” I agree with James Clear when he says that trick is to ask, “What can I stick to even on my worst days?”
In his book ‘Atomic Habits‘, he talks about starting small when it comes to developing habits. I 100% believe in this concept. It’s important to build small steps and changes into your lifestyle at first. Scale up from there when you have consistently nailed the first stage of your healthy habits, and when you have the time and energy to continue to change.
Why Does Starting Small Lead to Success with Healthy Habits?
1. It’s easier to start.
When you set small, health goals, getting started is more doable. And starting is the most important step. Obtain early successes to get positive momentum going. To see what I mean, think about a time when you haven’t felt like exercising. If you tell yourself to get active for a quick 15 minute burst versus a 1 hour session, it’s much more likely that you’ll begin a workout. I guarantee that once you start, almost 100% of the time you will keep exercising for longer than 15 minutes. Thinking about this small, shorter step gets you started with developing a consistent routine which is the key to sticking with habits for the long term.
2. It’s easy to be consistent.
In order to see results from the healthy habits you build, you must be consistent with them. If you don’t follow the 80/20 rule, you won’t get results. Think of it this way, if I asked you to reduce your daily calories by 500 calories, how easy do you think that would be to follow EVERY DAY? That’s like me removing a bagel with a cheese slice out of your daily calorie count. Now what it I asked you to remove 100 calories a day instead? That’s like taking the cheese slice away. It would be much easier to remove the cheese slice wouldn’t it? Long term success and getting results is all about being consistent with your habits.
Be sure to track how consistent you are with your healthy habits. If you happen to fall off track one day, do not miss following that healthy habit twice or the bad actions become the new habit. If you’re finding the habit you’re working on is too difficult to stick with, break it into a smaller and slightly easier task for you to achieve more regularly. Starting small, and ramping up on healthy living changes, enables you to follow them consistently and thereby get results.
3. Long Lasting Results will happen.
When you start small, results may take a little longer to happen, but they will happen. And the results will stick forever if you keep performing the small, manageable changes. Here’s how; if you reduce your calories by 100 calories daily, this can add up to you losing 10 pounds a year. That’s a pretty significant weight loss for not a ton of change required on your part. If you start exercising for 10 minutes a day, this adds up to 61 hours a year in workouts. Some significant energy, strength and endurance can be built within this timeframe!
The funny thing is, when those 10 pounds are dropped, or you’ve gained that energy, strength and endurance, it seems like it came overnight. But don’t be fooled, it was that little bit of extra work you put into each and every day over the year that made the difference.
To Sum it up…Creating Healthy Habits
I agree with the concept of ‘starting small’ when it comes to developing healthy habits. This approach makes it easier to get started with creating a healthier lifestyle, in addition to driving more consistency with the new habits. This method will ultimately lead to you producing achievable and realistic results that will last a lifetime. And isn’t that what we all want, forever results with no more yo-yo dieting or unhealthy tactics that don’t last? I challenge you to pick a couple of small healthy habits for you to insert into your lifestyle right now, and enjoy the changes you will see by the end of 2022!