• Maryann, I love your idea of changing into your workout clothes early. Since returning home from H3 a month ago, I have found it too easy to get caught up in the rush of the day’s activities and neglect my exercise. So the other day, I just put my workout clothes on in the morning (I work at home, so I can do this) and told myself “At some point today, you ARE going to get to the gym.” When the opportunity arose, I was ready and didn’t have any excuses! It worked great. Thanks!!

    From Trudy Simmons
    November 5, 2012

Small Steps Toward Big Goals

I was speaking with an H3 “first timer” guest yesterday.  It was the beginning of her first day on campus and she was particularly anxious about the level of exercise in some of our classes.   She was worried that she would find herself in an exercise class and not be able to “keep up” with the instructor or with other guests.  She shared with me that she had been very athletic throughout her 20’s and 30’s, running, playing soccer, and was a member of a crew team.  However, an injury that occurred more than 20 years ago had sidelined her.  As a result, she stopped exercising and had gained a significant amount of weight.   She had come to H3 with a vision of returning to an active, healthy lifestyle and had established a goal of exercising for at least 1 hour, 6 days a week.   But as she faced Day 1 of addressing her goal, she was anxious and scared.

I asked one of our Fitness Specialists to join our conversation.  We reviewed the weekly schedule with the guest and noted some exercise classes where she might be more comfortable for the first couple of days.  We assured her that all classes provide modifications for various fitness levels.  Coupled with Thermal Walks, these initial classes would allow her to get back into an exercise groove and hopefully, build up her confidence to go to the next level. 

The next afternoon, I saw the same guest in the Lobby.  She had just returned from a low impact aerobics class – her third class of the day – and she had a HUGE smile on her face.  “I’m doing it,” she exclaimed.  “I just keep telling myself to take small steps.”

This guest’s approach of taking small steps toward a big goal can be used effectively in many aspects of our lives, from planning a party to finding a new job or changing careers.  The research in this area is pretty clear; the bigger the goal, the smaller your initial steps should be.  And, if the initial steps are still daunting, you can always try cutting those steps in half – until each step becomes so small that it is easy.

This approach is particularly relevant for weight loss and fitness goals, as I can attest from personal experience.  Six months ago, I decided I would go to a Spinning class 3 times a week at 5:30 pm.  The problem is I wasn’t doing it.  My attendance was ‘hit or miss’ at best; something else always got in my way. So, I decided to take a small step and change into my workout clothes at 4:45 pm on the days I had Spinning.  That way, I could leave work at 5:15 and make it to the Spinning Studio – properly attired – and on time for the start of class.  By changing into my workout clothes at 4:45, I was taking a small step in the right direction and mentally preparing myself to get in my car and attend Spinning.   The first week I tried this new approach I made it to class twice; by the third week, it was a done deal.  All it took was thinking about a small step that would put me on the right path toward achieving my big goal.

So, the next time you establish a big goal for yourself – running a 10K or losing 10 pounds – think about how you will feel when you are successful, and get started by taking one small step at a time.

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