Health & Medical Self-Improvement

The Best Procrastination Tip: Start Small

Here's a scenario that's probably all too familiar to a lot of people: it's the first week of January and a brand new year has just started.
You tell yourself that this is the year in which you're finally going to lose those extra thirty pounds you've been carrying around for what seems forever.
In addition, your plan is to radically change your diet-you're going to cut out all sweets, white starches, and all meat products--and you're going to go from couch potato, to jogging for an hour each day.
For how long do you think that you're going to stick to your plan? You're probably going to follow your new diet and exercise regime for three or four days.
Then, you'll stop.
Why? Because you're some sort of loser who can't keep their commitments and achieve their goals? Absolutely not.
You're going to quit because you're making the mistake of starting out too big.
Instead of telling yourself that you're going to cut out all sweets from your diet, starting immediately, you can tell yourself that you'll have fruits for dessert most days, but that a couple of days a week you'll allow yourself to have low-fat ice cream.
At the same time, you'll start cutting back on meat products and white starches gradually.
Another idea is to become a weekday vegetarian; that is, you'll stop eating meat products during the week, but you'll allow yourself to eat meat during the weekends.
That way, you're not making the radical decision to cut meat products out of your diet all at once.
At the same time, if you try going from couch potato to jogging for an hour a day in one fell swoop, here's what's probably going to happen: after the first day of running you'll be terribly sore, and this will lead you to tell yourself that you hate jogging and that you're never going to do it again.
A much better strategy is to start out by going for a twenty minute walk, every day, for a couple of weeks.
After you get used to this, you can start walking for half an hour a day.
Then, raise it to forty minutes a day.
With continual gradual increases, you'll soon be walking for an hour a day.
Once you're walking every day for an hour, you can try jogging for five minutes, and walking the rest of the way.
Use the same strategy of making gradual increases in order to jog for a little longer every week.
Before you know it, you'll be jogging every day for an hour.
By doing these things gradually, it might take you eight months to get to the point where you've cut out all meat products, sweets, and white starches from your diet, and where you're jogging every day for an hour.
However, since you did it gradually, you'll stick to it.
By the end of the year, it's very likely that you'll discover that you finally managed to lose those stubborn thirty pounds.
You'll discover that the old adage that slow and steady wins the race is true!

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