Many of us think that make our resolutions or lifestyle changes should be achievable within a short period of time. Change, however, is difficult. The older we get, the harder habits are to break. The more we have done something one way, the more difficult it is to do it another.
One method for making a big change is to start with incremental small changes. Trade in that big and lofty resolution for a series of small adjustments. My book, 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You, offers small changes you can make that begin to have meaningful impact on your health.
Here are some ideas to consider for the first several weeks of the new year:
1. Indulge wisely: Healthy eating is important, but so is the art of indulging. Indulge one day a week—it's only 15 percent of the time. It helps to keep your cravings in check.
2. Laugh out loud: Laughter eases tension and anxiety, and it promotes a healthy social environment. Build in laugh time through funny movies, comedy shows, games with family and friends, and playing with children.
3. Be active: Choose to be active in your everyday life. For instance, opt to walk as much as possible. Walking improves your overall mood and helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
4. Keep it clean and green: Did you know that many chemicals in household cleaners can be hazardous to families and pets. Eliminating environmental toxins can be as easy as changing your household cleaners to those with a Green Seal.
5. Build healthy and supportive relationships: Loving and supportive relationships are important to our outlook and mental well being. Avoid unhealthy, or negative relationships, as these can be detrimental to one’s health. Spend an extra hour a week with the people who bring positivity to your life.
Making small changes may seem "small" at first, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up to big, glorious change!