Published by Dan Jones on 15th May 2016
Why The Small Things Count
Many people think that making changes to their health and the way their body looks and feels requires massive action and a lot of willpower. However, the truth is that small habits repeated consistently are far more effective than big action that is short lived and based solely on willpower.
Anything worthwhile is going to take time, and the process probably won’t be all plain sailing. If we are solely focused on big action using large amounts of willpower, we will more often than not be left disappointed. Instead, we must use the power of simple daily habits and take a longer term view.
The Power of Small Habits Practiced Daily
It‘s the small things we do every day that add up over time to create our lives. Hitting the snooze button and staying in bed an extra 10 minutes, rather than getting up straight away, and allowing yourself time to prepare a nutritious breakfast. Missing a day of exercise. Taking the car when you could have walked. Eating a sugary snack when you got back from work rather than waiting for dinner. Staying up an extra half an hour to go on the Ipad, rather than getting to bed on time.
The issue is that these tiny little daily habits are so small, that they don’t seem to matter (at the time). After all, one missed breakfast, one sugary snack, one late night won’t make a difference, right? Well, the truth is it does, although you won’t see the difference straight away.
Your health and wellbeing is very similar to your financial health. Making small but regular savings each month won’t make you financially free overnight. But, keep up the habit and like a snowball getting bigger and bigger as it rolls down the hill, the compound interest starts to help your savings grow and grow. In time, you may be shocked at how much you have ended up with. All by performing the simple habit of saving a little away each month.
Your health is the same. Eating sugar every day won’t cause particularly noticeable weight gain straight away. But over time it will add up, and the damage sugar ends up doing to your health and your body shape might just shock you.
If you start exercising for 20 minutes every day, you’ll probably feel a little better in a week or two’s time, but the difference won’t be massive. But keep up that habit of 20 minutes exercise every day for 6 months and you will have made a considerable difference to your fitness levels and way you feel. The same goes for your nutrition. Eating healthily for one day doesn’t seem like it would make much difference (and it won’t) but add together 90 days of consistently healthy eating and your health will have significantly improved.
The issue with habits is that at the time we take the action we rarely see the impact it makes. But in the long run, those small little actions all add up. Once established, habits require minimal willpower and are extremely powerful. New habits don’t form overnight, so you have to work at them, but persevere and over time your new habits will create real change in your life.
So remember, it’s the small things you do every day that will add up over time to create the life you want or a life you unsatisfied with. Living a life of good health and vitality is dependent on the small things we do every day, that are easy to do, yet just as easy not to do. But we get to decide the choices we make.
5 Healthy Habits
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier to make a healthy breakfast
- Set a bedtime and stick to it
- Commit to doing some form of exercise every day for at least 20 minutes
- Write your goal down and review everyday without fail
- Swap out one unhealthy food or drink you consume regularly for a healthier alternative e.g. a bar of chocolate for a piece of fruit (it’s easy to do, but at the same time, easy not to do!)