A few months ago I talked about setting good short-term goals. New Year’s resolution time often spurs people to think huge — getting (back) in shape and (finally) getting your weight under control. These are fine goals, but the emphasis on the sweeping, “bucket-list” approach to New Year’s resolutions can trap people into hand-waving exactly how they’re going to get there.

Let’s Get Small

Great journeys are composed of individual steps, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Do you drink a lot of soda every day? Drop just 12 ounces a day — even it’s only during the regular work week — and you could lose 10 lb during the course of the year. A small change leaves you less likely to feel deprived and want to make up the calories elsewhere.

Replace that soda with a 10-min walk, and you’re looking at 14 lb over the course of the year (based on 5-day work weeks). Bonus: that bit of activity can touch up your mood and give eyes and muscles a break from repetitive work tasks.

Too often find yourself at fast food at lunchtime? Pack just one healthy meal (or a couple of snacks) per week to bring to work. Much easier than committing to a total switch to home-packed meals — and once it’s easy, you might be ready to step it up to two days a week.

Burned out on breaking that “finally get into the gym habit” resolution? Start sneaking brief bits of activity into your day, like calf raises while you brush your teeth, taking the stairs instead of the elevator (just once a day to start), or one or two yoga poses when you need a little pick-me-up.

Keep track of what you’re doing! Small changes can be easy to skip, so find a way to track them, even if it’s just a checkmark on a calendar. Numbers are even better — how many calf raises? Did you take the stairs more than once today? Did you take an extra walk? When keeping track of your efforts, it’s fun — and helpful — to watch the numbers add up.

More little things to check out:
BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits system
31 Portable High-Protein Snacks
Mini Exercise Breaks, Plus Extra Ideas

These coasters were sold by Lucky Bee Press, which appears to have replaced them with A Wish For The New Year — here’s to making wishes come true!


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