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Start small to go BIG!

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Forget winter blues, does anyone else have a case of the summer blues?

Christmas and New Years are but long-distance memories, we’re back at work watching that summer sun out of our windows, sleep-ins are only for the weekends again, and my coffee isn’t quite strong enough.

On top of this, that motivation and the resolutions I thought I could smash from the first week of January have all but hit a wall. “Exercise more”, “eat better”, “no alcohol”, and so on. These goals of mine have all lost their wind quickly and my reset isn’t quite resetting, but as I was scrolling across Instagram the other day I came across a snippet of a TED talk by Mark Steel who was talking about motivation and goal setting. One thing that really stuck with me was when he said- “start small to go big”. Basically, what he means by this is that instead of setting these big “go hard or go home” goals that can quickly become overwhelming it is better off to put in place smaller steps or points that let you build towards the bigger goals you have set out to achieve. This phrase really resonated with me because perhaps that’s been a lot of my issue over the first few weeks of 2022. I’ve set goals that are broad, untimed, lacking any meaningful direction, and I’m missing my WHY. I mean, what exactly does “exercise more” even mean to me? Does eating better mean eating healthier foods or eating to more suitable portions? I’m a social bunny in the peak of social season and I’ve really gone out and set “no alcohol” as a goal? I am fooling myself, right?

So, back to this concept of “start small to go big”, I sat down with myself and tried to strip these ambitious goals back a bit. Of course, I want to achieve all of these things, but I need a starting point for each of them. At JCN we like to call these actionable steps or focus points to help paint the bigger picture.

To help me do this, I broke my goals down by doing the following:

Instead of “exercise more” I went with:

-Complete 3 x weight sessions and 2 x 30-minutes cardio per week across the remainder of summer in order to support fat loss, strength, and mobility.

  

Instead of “eat better” I went with:

-Meal prep every Sunday and Thursday evening to prevent off-plan eating. Allow 1 x off-plan meal per week on the weekends.

Instead of “no alcohol” I went with:

-Only consume alcohol at 1 x event per month. Offer to sober drive at other events. The time with my family and friends remains the same regardless of alcohol.

So, you can see here instead of trying to do everything at once, I have set myself smaller but more realistic goals that will actually help me achieve things like exercising more, eating better and, at least, consuming less alcohol. All of which, will help me chip away at my overarching goal of enriching my health and fitness in 2022.

If you’re anything like me and also struggling to hit the straps with those early year goals, try to refocus some of these and “start small to go big”. It is much more achievable for us to have smaller actionable steps that will support us during the ongoing summer fun rather than these broad goals that will run out of steam faster than the festive break went by.

Written by JCN Nutritionist @cam_mcskimming

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