Monday, January 2, 2012

Tweaks and small steps can take you far

imageMy buddy @ReidCarlberg talks about how tweaks beat resolutions in a post today.  Loved it.  Reid has set a goal for himself to do my morning reading of the Internets at the gym instead of while drinking coffee at home.  No mention of when he is going to ingest his oatmeal (but that’s another story).

I talked about resolutions (more as goals and how to reach them) the other day.  This tweaks concept fits into the main thrust that there is a lot that goes into reaching your goal and it usually starts with something small.  Just as (what was all the rage in the late 90’s) Big Hairy Audacious Goals failed for so many companies that tried to adopt it when their culture did not support it, you probably want to start small (and specific) with your goals.

A journey of 1,000 miles started with a single step and a lot of heavy breathing

In that resolutions post, I also spoke of achieving a personal goal of running and completing my first marathon.  That was not something I started in the same year (I didn’t start from being a couch stalagmite to running 40 miles a week).  Instead, it was the result of many small (and yes – some large) tweaks over 3 years that got me home.

Some steps on the path:

  • I had to lose 80 pounds. Not with a rapid-loss fad diet or pills – but simple things over a period time (like mixing in a salad).
  • Getting back into running shape.  When I picked up running seriously (after a couple of years layoff), I started small.  My first workout was walk 1 min, jog 1 min for 20 minutes.  6 weeks later – I was running a 5K. 
  • Adding overall fitness in my life.  Whether it is spending some time with the Wii Fit, or taking the stairs at work (the latter more challenging when you’re hoofing it with a 9” Logger boot) – tweaking to a more active lifestyle helped the mental aspects of this life change.

Start small – but just start

So if you’re on the health kick bandwagon for 2012, find the tweak in your life to get you started.  It may not being going to the club 5 days a week with the other folks who started today and will be gone by Valentines Day.  It can be as simple as committing to walking the dog two blocks twice a day (instead of the one you do today). 

If finding a job (or a new job) in 2012 is in your sights, a goal of having coffee with two people you don’t currently know each month may be your first step.

Whatever your goals (and steps to get there are) – they start with that first one.

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