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Change just one thing

I was having a discussion the other day about how to make changes in your life. Is it best to make a list of all the things you want to change and start them cold-turkey on a certain day? Like a New Year’s Resolution? Or is there a better way?

They say that change comes from habit and it takes 21 days to form a habit. Whether it was a good habit or a bad habit it stuck for a reason. And you got some kind of benefit out of doing it or it wouldn’t have stuck.

It’s also said that it’s easier to change one thing at a time. So instead of overhauling your entire diet and hiring a personal trainer and signing up for a hiking club, just change one thing. For example, stop drinking pop. Then a few weeks later, choose a meat-free day once a week, then start whittling away at the other choices until you eventually develop a healthy diet that sticks.

The same goes for anything else in your life. If you want to be more active, start by making different choices. Walk to the store that one time instead of drive. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Or, if you’re an athlete, remember that you need to increase your load by 10% a week. If you’re starting off a new program for your sport, don’t go all in at once.

Habits are hard to break. If you want to break it you have to want it more than you want the habit itself. But give yourself a starting chance. Don’t try to change it all at once. Change just one thing.