Small Changes That Have Had A Massive Impact On My Life
From little things, big things grow. A cliché, right? But it’s so true.
There are so many elements to cultivating a healthy lifestyle and I’ve learned so much over the years on my fitness journey.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to not underestimate the power of small and simple changes.
Sometimes you might feel you have to make HUGE changes to see a difference in your health. It’s important to realize that actually, most changes and accomplishments are the result of SMALL shifts, compounded over time. It’s our simple, daily choices that make the REAL difference.
Below I’ve shared some of the changes I’ve made over the course of my fitness journey that have had a massive impact on my life.
My hope in sharing my experiences is to inspire you to go forward and implement change for yourself. Fitness is a tool for self-empowerment. It’s never too late to make one or all of these changes in your life!
I started to move my body every day
When I started to move my body, it was small movements. It was all I could manage to do.
Most days, it was simply putting Anderson in the stroller and doing laps around the block.
Everyone starts somewhere and I want to stress that EVERY movement counts.
As you move your body, day after day, you WILL feel the difference and that’s the power of a small change. Your muscles will grow and so will your confidence and self-love.
I figured out how I workout best
For me, I workout best when I workout alone.
Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE training groups of women and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of my career! But most days I train best at the gym by myself, with my earbuds in and my favorite songs on.
Figuring this out helped me to EMPOWER myself and practice self-care on a deeper level.
It’s time for just me — to better myself, relieve stress, be present and refocus on my greater goals and visions.
Finding out what works for you is SO important. In order for you to improve your lifestyle, you want to make HEALTHY changes that you can stick with for the long term.
I discovered my love for weight training
Discovering weight training and implementing this in my day-to-day routine has had an incredible impact on my life.
Discovering a form of exercise you love can change your whole perspective on fitness and health! It’s all about YOU. Your goals, your ambitions, your interests and taking care of your health.
I made hydration a priority
There are so many benefits to being hydrated.
Personally, the biggest differences I notice when I’m hydrated are better digestion, clearer skin, less bloating (especially while traveling), and fewer cravings.
I promise you, if you want to make just one change, this is the EASIEST and most immediate shift you can make!
I aim for four liters of water each day. If you find it hard to drink water, I would recommend starting with two liters, then gradually up the amount.
Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring! If you don’t like the taste of water or want to mix things up, you can add fruit (berries are a great option), mint, lemon or cucumber. These are such refreshing flavours, especially in summer!
I made healthier food choices
I’m the first to say that before I discovered exercise, my diet was lacking. I honestly had no understanding of fitness or nutrition and fast food, soda and lots of hot chips, all made regular appearances.
When I started to incorporate fresh, nutritious food into my diet, I started to feel ENERGISED.
I never did anything drastic, I simply made one small shift at a time and learned how to fuel and nourish my body.
My diet went from eating anything and everything, to ensuring I was making choices that would make me FEEL good.
Nourishing your body is a form of self-care and self-love. When you appreciate all that your body does for you, you want to take care of it.
There are extremely healthy foods and less nutritious foods, but all food is FUEL (in context and moderation).
We should NEVER feel guilty for eating the things we enjoy, but we also need to be realistic. It’s simply about choosing the healthier options MOST of the time, and indulging in moderation.
Making healthier food choices takes discipline, but it’s not something you should fear! Focus on food that will fuel you with the energy you need and leave you FEELING GOOD.
Know that nutrition is individual. Educate yourself and nourish your body in a way that’s best for YOU.
I experimented and found foods I loved
My biggest advice is to find healthy foods you actually ENJOY eating! I am a firm believer that what you eat should taste good! You should be excited to eat and look forward to your meals.
Importantly, know that healthy food does not have to be bland or boring. Have fun and try new things!
I saw the benefits in food prep
I don’t particularly enjoy cooking and I’m definitely not a chef, but I do feel so much more organised when I have nailed some simple food prep! It helps me keep on track and working towards my fitness goals.
I keep things basic because honestly, food prep for me is a chore and not something I particularly enjoy.
Instead of preparing full meals, I keep it super simple and usually just prep my protein! For example, I’ll grill and shred chicken that I can then use for quick lunches and dinners over the course of the week.
Sacrificing a couple of hours on the weekend saves me so much time and stress during the week!
If you’re particularly time poor, find quick and tasty recipes and keep them on hand. This will make things SO much easier for you when you have limited time.
If you can, also have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand to snack on throughout the day.
I made sleep a priority
When I made sleep a priority, the benefits were almost immediately evident.
Allowing your body to rest is SO important. Not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
I aim for seven hours of sleep a night and try to avoid screen time for 30 minutes prior to sleep. This helps me get a better night’s rest.
I began to practice gratitude
I’ve always tried to be grateful for everything in my life, however, when I began to practice INTENTIONAL daily gratitude, everything changed — for the better.
Life is hectic and always busy. Sometimes, when we rush through life, we forget to slow down and actually appreciate how fortunate we are. It’s so easy to get caught up and take for granted all of your blessings, beginning with the fact that you’re ALIVE.
I know it might sound “cheesy” and it can be difficult when things are tough, but taking a moment each day to really pause and reflect breeds a perspective of positivity.
My favorite way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. Each night before I go to sleep, I take a moment and write down three things I’m thankful for. My son, Anderson. My husband, Ryan. My family. My dog, Paddington. The amazing PWR community. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. This simple habit is a small change that makes a HUGE impact.
Gratitude is also a tool you can use when you’re facing a difficult situation in your life. It forces you to focus on the positives and can help you change your perspective, attitude and mindset — and you ALWAYS have control of that.
Make your life your best
If you want to start making healthier changes in your life, I hope this article has inspired you.
Remember, making healthy choices doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to do it all at once.
A small step is all it takes.
Just ONE of these changes can have a positive impact on your life. I’m so proud of you for wanting to CARE for yourself. You DESERVE this.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.