Small Changes for a Big Impact

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I like to continuously work on improving my mind, body and health. Drastic changes are often hard to stick to but little changes can easily become a habit and have a big impact over time. Here are 5 small changes I’ve incorporated into my life.

Push -ups everyday 

Outside of running, I don’t really have a set routine of strength exercises that I do regularly. I try my best to foam roll and stretch, especially right after my run. I also may do a few lunges for warm – up pre-run. However, about a month ago I started doing push-ups everyday. I used to do push-ups here and there when I felt like it, and they were usually always done on my knees. I really hate push-ups so I was unmotivated to do them. They are hard and they hurt, but it’s often the things that we don’t like to do that we probably need to be doing. So I told myself I was going to start doing 3 sets of 10 every single day and gradually work up. I have not progressed to 4 sets of 20 push-ups ALL on my toes. I will keep increasing until I get to 100 total push-ups a day, and I may not stop at that. I can tell I am stronger in my core, arms and back, but more importantly setting aside a few minutes a day to accomplish this goal has made me feel better not only physically but mentally.

Switched out Cereal for Oatmeal 

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I love cereal. Frosted Shredded Wheat is my jam.  I also love Lucky Charms, Life, Cheerios, Cocoa Crispies, oh and the Annie’s Brand of Frosted Flakes are amazing…I love cereal in general. The problem is I can’t eat just one bowl of cereal. I always knew oatmeal was a healthier option, and I should give it try. But there was just one problem, I do not like oatmeal. It’s not so bad in the winter month’s but in the summer it does not appeal to me! However, I knew this was a simple change I could make that would have a big impact on my diet. I stumbled on a brand that I actually do not mind (Better Oats 100 Calorie packets). I miss cereal but I like the way my body feels from the oatmeal. I try to eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast 4x a week, and then give myself another option the other days. My other go to breakfast meal is a slice of toast with PB and half a banana.

Saying no to Seconds (& 3rd’s) at Dinner

Dinner is probably my favorite meal of the day. I used to think it had to be the biggest as well. Who wants to stop at one bowl of pasta? However, overeating at dinner was a huge problem for me. Second helpings and even thirds were not uncommon, and neither was going to bed stuffed and waking up full. Once I made the decision to stop at one serving, I  started to feel tons better. I left the dinner table just satisfied, which is not always easy, but at least I wasn’t bloated, uncomfortable and lazy for the rest of the night. Now I wake up hungry which is a good thing!

Becoming a Minimalist

I am a planner by nature due to my Type A personality. I like to meal plan and have a rough plan of what I want to accomplish during the week. That doesn’t mean I’m always efficient in the way I do things, and I can get caught up in daily activities that waste a lot of time.  Quite a few months ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called The Minimalists. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already watched it. It really got me thinking about small changes I could make in my life. Since then I have slowing been transitioning into a more minimalistic lifestyle by eliminating so many unnecessary “things” that are essentially just distractions from what I really care about. By doing this I can spend more time focusing on things I really love and care about! One area I have started minimizing is my wardrobe. I spend less time fussing over what to wear now that my options are narrowed down and organized. The less options the easier the decision! Hard to believe but true.

No Alcohol 

Yeah that’s right, I stopped drinking alcohol. Gasp! And I’m not committing to never having a drink again, but for now I am content without drinking. I’m not suggesting you should quit drinking. I just feel better by eliminating it. I used to drink a glass of wine on most nights, and maybe a few drinks on the weekend. I never felt sick but I didn’t feel amazing either. Life should be fun and enjoyable, and there should be something to look forward to each day. If a glass of wine each night is your treat than that is perfect. My treat is an iced-coffee. I have one almost every afternoon. You can’t eliminate all joy from life so find what really makes you happy and gives you the most satisfaction and enjoy it!

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I’d love to hear what changes you have made in your life that have had a positive impact?

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One thought on “Small Changes for a Big Impact

  1. Kim K.

    This is great Halley! I don’t know the last time I did a pushup on my toes. Last year I did a 100 pushup challenge, but on my knees (and you didn’t have to do them all in a row, but you had to do them all together); I should look to doing this again to get some upper body and core work done since my coach doesn’t give me a lot of that kind of work.

    OMG cereal, if it was up to me, I would never have it in the house because I also cannot stop at 1 bowl, but the BF eats it every day and has 8 boxes in the house right now! So I need to just cut that $hit out and make chia pudding instead.

    I cut out booze the month before my marathon last year, and while I’m sure it helped having a fresh mind and body for training and the race, I wasn’t entirely happy that month! I love wine and think this time around I will cut back on the wine but not 100% eliminate.

    I need to tailor my diet these next few months. All the summer bbqs and pool parties have me at a higher weight than what I am used to, so need to cut back on the 2nds and 3rds and certainly all the snacking. I also find that dairy and peanut butter make my Ulcerative Colitis act up (plus dairy causes inflammation), so I am going to try to cut back on that and have more coconut/almond milk. And tart cherry juice to help with inflammation!

    Looking forward to hearing how you are doing with your little cutbacks!

    Liked by 1 person

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