I stared at the dishes piled up in the sink, the crumbs that have fallen carelessly on the stove burners, the greasy fingerprints on the cabinet doors and the trash overflowing from the can. I'm sure the governor could declare the Genders' kitchen an official disaster area. I had a few choices: I could try to convince hubby to do the work (long shot), hire a cleaning service to show up in next 10 minutes (unlikely) or just set the whole thing on fire and start over with a new kitchen. Kidding! With my options limited, I did what I knew I needed to do. I rolled up my proverbial sleeves and got to work.
I started with the sink, rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher. I scrubbed the stove top and wiped down the cabinets and countertops. Things were starting to look up. I was gaining momentum. As the kitchen began to sparkle with its new-founded cleanliness, I started looking for new areas to clean: The inside of the microwave. The baseboards. The window sill. The crumbs that seem to mysteriously fall in the silverware tray.
What happened here? How did I go from feeling overwhelmed to seeking out more areas to clean? It's the power of momentum, my friends, and it works for everything. The hardest part is getting started. Once you start, it's becomes easier to take the next step, then the next one. It's breaking down the big overwhelming tasks to smaller manageable ones.
That's why the secret to success in health and fitness is getting started and staying consistent. Aren't you glad I didn't say the secret was willpower and motivation? If it was, then I'd be doomed. If you just start and you are consistent with small healthy habits you will meet your goals. Money back guarantee. Oh yeah, this blog is free.
TOMORROW STARTS TODAY
If you've ever told yourself you would start tomorrow working on your goals, join the club. We've all done it, but it is not the way to achieve success. It reminds me of that sign that you sometimes see at bars: Free beer tomorrow. It's easy to offer something free for tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes. It's what you do today that matters.
Start today. Build momentum. Do something today. Anything. Do a five minute action that inches you in the right direction.
The worst part of starting tomorrow, or Monday, or next month, or the new year, or when you finish school, or when your kids go back to school, or when you get promoted at work or when you win the lottery, is that it gives you the excuse to do worse than usual today. I'm going to start my diet tomorrow, so I better hurry up and eat all this ice-cream today. I am going to start working out tomorrow so it's ok that I'm on the couch for a six hour Games of Thrones marathon today.
When in reality you'd be a lot better off if you starting making better nutrition choices today, while still enjoying a (single) serving of ice-cream if you choose. Do your workout before you sit down for an episode of Game of Thrones. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. You can work your healthy choices around the things you already enjoy.
TAKE ACTION TOWARDS YOUR GOALS
If it's exercise, then at least do a five minute workout, I have plenty of them in my workouts archive. You don't need to spend an hour. If it's nutrition related, make one or two choices in the right direction: Add a serving of lean protein to your dinner. Add an extra serving of veggies to your lunch. Eat your meal slowly. Then when tomorrow comes, you'll have already started yesterday. Momentum is your friend. Just start with the smallest action.
Some may argue, what's the point of such a small action? Five minutes of exercise isn't going to melt the fat off your body. Adding a serving of veggies to one meal isn't going to massively improve your health profile. It's true that these things by themselves won't make a huge impact, but when you combine them with other small actions consistently and you build on them over time, then big results follow. You have to start somewhere.
It's a mindset thing. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the big goal in front of you, start with something small. When you are successful at the small things you build confidence, when you build confidence, you feel ready to tackle the bigger things. Use the power of momentum to reach your goals. Tomorrow never comes. Start today.
What is one small thing you can do today to get started?
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