You can try to figure out the entire path to improving your health, or you can do this
Reduce overwhelm by doing what's impactful and easy
Wondering and worrying.
It’s a trap you can fall into, one that seems to spiral into a state of inaction and overwhelm.
Where to begin?
What to do next?
How will this help?
Where am I going?
What’s the point?
In a world of seemingly endless solutions to our problems, you’d think you’d be able to just know exactly what to do and make change happen at the snap of your fingers.
So here’s my advice:
You don’t have to know the full plan of where you’re going.
You just need to know the vision, and then focus on the next best thing you can do today.
How can you be sure you’re doing this correctly?
I like remind myself that it’s about working at what’s both impactful and easy.
This is a simple filter you can use to run your possible healthy actions through.
Let’s take a look.
These are the tasks that are going to directly make the biggest impact on your goals and ability to change for the better. These are usually the fundamentals, executed on a consistent basis. Nothing flashy.
If your goal is to drop a few pounds, it might be making a change such as increasing your daily steps or cutting back some liquid calories.
But to be impactful, there must be enough change to elicit a, well, impact.
If you normally walk 1000 steps per day, moving up to 1500 might not help you drop a significant amount of weight. However, hitting 5000 might spark a change.
If you normally have drink a large coffee “triple, triple” cutting back 1 sugar might not make a big difference. But moving down to “one and one” or black, might be the difference maker.
Ultimately, it’s up to you know if there is a true impact happening. Sometimes making those minor changes might be exactly what you need because they help you reinforce a deeper story about who you are and what you want to accomplish. They build your confidence and allow you to take action in other areas of your life.
For now, don’t over think it.
Run the “gut test” and see if it feels right. It’s amazing what intuition can tell us when we are trying to be honest with ourselves.
Making change is anything but easy.
There’s so many factors that play into our success, and may of them involve overcoming obstacles and persevering when times get tough.
Right now, you’re job isn’t to conquer the entire thing at once.
It’s to do the thing that comes naturally to you.
The thing that you feel the least resistance towards.
This is what it means to be easy.
Right now, that might look like committing to:
a daily walk
working out twice per week
getting to bed at a decent hour
doing your favourite outdoor activity
eating a healthy breakfast
Whatever task you are thinking of, it should almost pull you towards it in a way.
“Okay, yeah, I can do that!”
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with your health and fitness journey, ask yourself:
“What’s the impactful and easy thing I can do right now”
Don’t worry about the full road ahead. Just take care of what’s within your control right now.
And if any of this is a struggle, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Sometimes a coach or a person with an outside perspective can really make the difference!
What to do next
Envision the goal. Where do you want to be? How do you want to feel. What does success look like? Get as clear and concise as you can.
List out impactful and easy actions you can do. Make sure there is alignment between both, and that they actively support your goal that you envisioned.
Here’s an example, unrelated to health and fitness habits but to my business. I hope it reinforces the point I’m trying to make:
When I was trying to pivot my business earlier in the pandemic to get more revenue, I felt overwhelmed with all of the possible paths I could take.
So I asked myself what would be impactful and easy. Online one-on-one training came to mind. I had prospective clients waiting for me to offer this service (impactful), and I had experience and skill in coaching and writing programs (easy).
Within a month I had 10 paying clients and I was able to continue paying my bills and hit my investment goals. I focused on this one thing, and didn’t concern myself with all of the competing advice I’d read about from other coaches and industry experts.
Commit to sticking with one thing for a while. It can be tempting to try many different things when looking to improve your health. Don’t do it. You’re already overwhelmed, so it doesn’t make sense to add more to your plate.
Simplify. Step back. Look at what you can realistically stick to for a few weeks or months. Do that one thing, and do it as well as you can. Once the confidence builds, you can add more.