1 Step to Making Long-Lasting Change
Challenging yourself to do something different - really different, like losing twenty pounds or getting in shape to run your first 10K– takes courage, takes confidence, and takes something really, really hard… A first step.
Based on my personal experience and years of coaching men and women in fitness and nutrition, I can emphatically say that the first step in the process of change is the hardest. It’s the hardest because we all know what comes after the first step of deciding to change. Yup, the second step.
And then the third, the fourth, and the fifth. And pretty soon we’re not thinking about the first step; we’re thinking about a marathon of steps.
We get exhausted just considering all of the things we have to do to make the change and instead of moving forward, we decide to sit down. We sit down, postpone, or give up before we’ve really even started because although we are uncomfortable with where we are, we’re pretty comfortable with that discomfort! We know it, we understand it, it’s ours…
But the fact is, living with the discomfort is a real problem. Among other things, it causes negative self-talk that can spiral downward out of control leading to a loss of confidence and a blow to self-esteem.
Not taking action can even compound the original problem. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard statements like this: “I’m too out of shape to walk, let alone run, so, I might as well have a brownie and watch Youtube…”
That kind of thinking just doesn’t work for me. And believe me, it’s not working for you either. The most powerful, liberating, and confidence-building thing you can do is to START; to take one single step out of your current “discomfort zone” and into a new discomfort zone that may be scary, but scary in a very positive way.
Make that first step a simple but truly effective one. Write down your goal and write down why you want to reach that goal. Be clear. Be specific. Be honest. Putting your desire to challenge yourself on paper makes it real, and reading it over and over changes your self-talk. Reading why you want to change motivates you, and helps you see yourself making the change happen. Seeing yourself make it happen leads directly to actually making it happen.
That’s the power of taking the first step. It creates a positive, upward spiral that leads to real change. Once you start to get comfortable with your first step, it’s absolutely time to take your next first step. I suggest that the next first step is to find support. Whether you reach out to a friend or family member, find an on-line program, take a class, or hire a coach, having encouragement, support, and accountability is important.
There’s no need to struggle alone when you can succeed with some sort of support.
All it takes is a single step…
Transformational nutrition and fitness coach Maria Mizzi inspires professional women and men to be fit for life with fun-to-follow workouts and healthy eating advice. Her 6-week on-line programs, The Beach Physique Method and the Beach Physique 20 Pound Challenge provide a roadmap to a confidence-filled healthy lifestyle.