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  • Writer's picturedahlia bendavid

Taking That First Step

We all have things we want to do or achieve, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Are any of these things on your list for the new year?

  • I want to lose weight

  • I want to save for retirement

  • I want to learn a new skill

  • I want to be healthier

  • I want to exercise more

  • I want to pay off debt

  • I want to spend more time with family

  • I want to get organized

  • I want to read more

That is a long list! The chances are you will not succeed with such a long and general list. But you can start with just ONE thing that you want to start doing to help you live the life you desire.

A good place to start is to pick one of your goals that is important to YOU and that motivates YOU. Then, be a bit more specific. For example, if the life you desire means being healthier and you want to do this by incorporating exercise into your life, find a form of exercise, a specific activity, that you enjoy.

* Is it running?

* biking outdoors?

* biking indoors while listening to music?

* lifting weights?

* walking with a friend?

If it is something you enjoy, you will be more inclined to do it. I have always wanted to be a runner, but I just do not enjoy running. I have a hard time breathing and the muscles in my legs ache. However, I love being out in nature, so I walk outdoors. And I enjoy it even more when I am walking with a friend, catching up and connecting. Walking works for ME.

Now that you decided on the activity, decide on how many times a week you want to do it and for how long. What is realistic for YOU? Maybe it is three times a week, or twice a week. Can you find 1 hour in your day? Maybe 1 hour twice a week is unrealistic, but 30 minutes three times a week is manageable. Since the pandemic began, I have been walking at least 4 miles EVERY SINGLE DAY. Since I didn't have a commute to work for a year and a half, it was feasible for me to work this into my schedule. If you have the demands of being a parent to young children and have to get them to school, doing something every day may not work for you.

Next, decide when doing this activity will fit into your day. Will the mornings before you start your work day or drop off your kids be the best time for you? Maybe you can take 30 minutes during a lunch break, or 30 minutes at the end of a work day would work. I am a morning person and am up pretty early. So for me, taking my walks in the morning works best for my schedule. I find that it is a great way for me to begin the day, and walking outdoors is when I do some of my best thinking.

Now that you decided on the activity, know how many days a week you will do your activity, the time of day and the length of time for the activity, schedule the activity in your calendar. Yes, that is right, Schedule your exercise routine. When you calendar your activity, you are making it a priority. I know for me, if it isn't in my calendar, it most likely isn't happening. Or I will forget. Or make excuses. But seeing it pop up on my schedule pretty much ensures that it will happen.

Finding what works best for you, with your lifestyle, is key. Starting to incorporate small habits to help you with just one area can set you on a path to success.

Go ahead, take that first step. And let me know what step you are going to take to live the life you deserve.

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