Progress over Perfection: How Small Changes Lead to Big Results

By
Shelby Barry
Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Yoga Teacher
April 12, 2024
4 minutes

Maybe you’re looking to level up your current fitness program.

Maybe the word “fitness” makes you feel a little uncomfortable. 

That’s ok. 

Wherever you find yourself on your fitness journey, there are simple steps you can make today to look and feel healthier.   

When thinking of ways to improve our health and wellness, it’s easy to get caught up in “all or nothing” mindsets. “I need to be in the gym 6 days a week”, “I must have a perfect diet” and “I have to run 5k races every other week” are naturally occurring, if not unrealistic, thought patterns. It is all too common to begin a new fitness endeavor with the best of intentions, only to fall off, feeling frustrated, confused, and discouraged. So how do we combat counterproductive ways of thinking and make immediate changes to our lifestyle that can lead to long term results? The answer is in the small, daily habits we form that are both sustainable and effective.  

The secret is in the simple act of taking every opportunity to move and making this way of thinking a habit in your daily life. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s often dismissed despite being effective. 

4 simple steps you can start taking today:

  1. Opt for stairs instead of elevators.  
  2. Stand or walk when taking work calls during the day.  
  3. Park your car in the back of the lot instead of the front.  
  4. Hold a plank during commercial breaks of your favorite television show.  

By the end of the day, these 5-10 minute chunks of movement will add up to meaningful extra activity.

If you find yourself lacking motivation to be more active, connecting with a fitness buddy is a helpful way to avoid boredom, make workouts move faster through social stimulation and keep you honest with your fitness routine.  Encourage your friends to participate in active activities with you.  Instead of going out for dinner and drinks, book a pilates or tennis class together.  Getting out of the house to socialize will help incentivize you, especially when you don’t feel like working out.  

Once you start making these small changes and habitualizing more movement into your daily routine, you’re going to notice improvements in your body and your mind throughout the day. 

So let go of your mis-directed ideas of perfection, relax your focus on lofty goals, and start embracing the rewarding journey of a more active and healthy lifestyle. 

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