I don’t know what John Maxwell was originally talking about in the quote above but it certainly holds true for weight loss and fitness.
On the one hand, it’s frustrating – we’d all like a quick fix that only temporarily modifies our routine. We want those 10 pounds off in 2 weeks or to be able to run a 5K effortlessly without training.
On the other hand, it’s motivational. When you ask someone who has lost lots of weight and kept it off for their secret to success the answer will often be “I changed what I ate and started moving. And I’m still doing it.” Small changes in your behavior over the long term add up to long term changes that don’t make you feel deprived like a diet or make you go to extreme measures like bariatric surgery.
I’m going to call this the Flip Book Strategy. If you look at the first and last page of a flipbook the images may not make a whole lot of sense in relation to each other but each page in between holds a slight change that made it possible to get from the beginning to the end result.
If you had told me at the start of my fitness journey (not that I even knew it was a journey when I started) that I would get to a point where I don’t even consider drinking soda (or that I’d become a personal trainer!) I’d never have believed you. But now, through small consistent changes, that’s my life. My success in taking off weight and getting healthy came from small changes. I started off slow with little “sacrifices” that I didn’t really have to sacrifice for. At restaurants, instead of soda I’d get unsweetened iced tea or water. Instead of thinking I needed second helpings or two of everything (like hamburgers at a BBQ) I settled for one and found I didn’t miss the second. I went to the gym 3 times a week and got money back from my health insurance for doing so. Nothing I did was big but put together those changes led to a big payoff. It also led to healthy habits that eventually just became the way I lead my life. Those so called “sacrifices” are now things I don’t even think about.
What small changes could you make to your daily routine to change your life?