It’s the Small Decisions that Change Your Life

If there’s something big you want to accomplish – losing weight, getting stronger, training for an event – does it feel overwhelming? Unless you’re seasoned at tackling big fitness goals, of course it does. That’s why breaking a big goal down into small pieces is one of the best ways to not only get started, but meet your goal.

One day a few years ago I realized I was weak. My neck had been injured in a car accident and I became afraid of hurting myself. Although I had lifted for years before the accident, I no longer trusted weight lifting because I had flare ups after lifting. But feeling weak grated on me. I complained. I worried. And I wasn’t sure I could ever really be strong again.

It was serendipity when one day I saw a sign at the gym for a one-time class on core training. For some reason I became determined to do it, and little did I know how that decision was to change the course of my life dramatically. After that one class, I decided to join another ongoing class lifting weights. And slowly I began rebuilding my confidence – and my strength – starting with two-pound weights.

It was months before I was confident enough to move up to 5-pound weights. But after awhile my neck began to feel better. I knew I didn’t have to baby it anymore, that working up slowly had built enough strength to protect it. Eventually I quit the class and started lifting on my own again. And all of these small steps led to starting my blog, which led to becoming a personal trainer.

Everything I have accomplished with my body – and my life – has been the result of a series of small steps. Every gain in my muscle, body fat, balance, strength has been the result of decisions. Do I go heavier and push it or continue the same way? Do I keep eating out or cut back? I’ll always be a work in progress of course – everyone can improve. So I continue to take small steps and decisions every single day and for every goal, be it to do more pull ups or sit ups, hold my plank longer, or squat more weight. Even learning new things, which I’m constantly doing, involves small steps.

Last year I attended the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Boulder, being held again this year June 22-24 at the Colorado Center for Health and Wellness. This relatively small step led to meeting other bloggers and fitness professionals, expanding my knowledge, and giving me a valuable experience I’ll never forget. I’m attending again this year courtesy of MeYouHealth and really can’t wait to see how this small step will impact my life positively.

If you’ve benefited from taking small steps to reach a goal – or if you’re struggling and need inspiration and ideas – join myself, MeYouHealth, and the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference for a Twitter chat this Wednesday, March 28th at 9 pm Eastern time (#FHBC12). We’ll talk about how to think and act small in order to achieve big results.

How have you taken small steps to reach a goal? Is there a goal that seems overwhelming to you? Drop me a comment, join our chat, or send me an email to connect.

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Comments

  1. That’s a great story! It takes courage to get started that is for sure and to keep going lots and lots of discipline.
    C… recently posted..Nice WeekendMy Profile

  2. Thanks for sharing your story! It is nice to have some insight into Miz Nirvana. :) I had no idea that’s how you started out.

    Well, to answer your question…yes, losing a big amount of weight is very overwhelming. I knew I had over 100 pounds to lose but that was so overwhelming and huge to me I couldn’t do it for a long time. Then I decided to try to lose 50. 50 wasn’t as scary. 50 felt doable to me. And it was. Once I lost the 50, 100 didn’t seem so hard.
    :)
    Lisa recently posted..O is For OpenMy Profile

    • So funny that I assume people know. I had it in some earlier posts and it’s briefly in my About page, but a bit buried. I love the idea of deciding on a manageable number with the weight. I plan on using this approach with my clients!! I’ve learned a lot from you.

  3. It’s great to hear your story! The fact that you had to overcome an injury (and the fear it caused) on the way to becoming the super-hot person you are is *very* motivating.

    You rock!

  4. You know, I always wished I didn’t hate running. Like, HATE running. Like, lung-bruisingly, heart-achingly HAAAAAYYYYEEEEEEET running. But I had pretty much just sort of decided it was my fate in life, and figured I couldn’t run a mile, but I could at least touch my toes. I made excuse after excuse and just didn’t put too much effort into it. But when my gramma (the radical Billie Jean) went back into the hospital a month and a half ago after being diagnosed with lymphoma, I had to do SOMEthing to show my support. Before I knew it, I’d signed up for a half-marathon. Talk about biting off more than I can chew! But setting such a BIG goal and being happy to take little bites towards it is going really, really well. I won’t be able to run the entire 13.1 miles on 4/15, but I can now run FOUR whole friggen’ miles (without stopping!!) and that’s a HUGE accomplishment. Little bits at a time – and I’ll get to that finish line, one way or another!
    elle potter recently posted..Twitter Chat with @WorkoutNirvana and @MeYouHealth with a @ChooseCherries Giveaway!My Profile

    • I’m really sorry about your gramma, Elle. I love that you took action and stretched yourself for her cause. Now that’s brave. And omg… I am not sure I could run four miles without stopping. I think my body would fall apart :). Congratulations!!

  5. This is a FANTASTIC post!!! It is all about those small steps that take us places we could never imagine! WOW, no idea you have been thru this. Like you, I consider myself a work in progress always. I write about it too…. always learning!
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Feeling Better!My Profile

  6. This is a fabulous post, Suzanne, and you’re right: taking small steps applies to so many areas in life – thanks for sharing! :-)
    Linda Mattacks recently posted..2 great ways marketing helps grow your businessMy Profile

  7. Hooray for Small Actions!

    I can relate to Elle’s hatred for running. I stank at it, so I avoided it. But then I got tired of not really knowing if I could conquer it. I like conquering things. So last year I signed myself up for a 10K and took a necessary six months to train for it. You kind of need more time for stuff like that when you have asthma.

    Now, this year, I have my eyes on the prize: my very first half marathon. And you better believe I’m taking a LONG time to ready myself — especially mentally — for something so taxing. It’s been a joyride, this falling in love with running. It’s definitely made me a happier person.

    What started out as running 30 seconds at at time has now become my going out there to push myself — faster, run longer — to see that I am making progress. Slimming down is just icing on the cake.

    Cheers!
    Alicia
    Alicia (@leximaven) (@AliciaGetsFit) recently posted..In this case… it's me with the open road, my music, my sneakers & my friend De…My Profile

  8. Taking small steps is such a huge piece of advice! And I loved hearing your personal story of progress. Here’s to learning something new every day!
    Suzanne Bowen recently posted..Form for the Side Forearm PlankMy Profile

  9. ShirleyFai says:

    Small decisions can really have a big impact in life…It makes up a big decision we have…And I agree that it can somehow change our life even permanently…
    ShirleyFai recently posted..Overcome AnxietyMy Profile

  10. Thanks for sharing the inspirational story . And yup- heartily agree that its the small steps in life that make the big steps in progress. And also that its the small things in life that gives us the most appreciation for it.
    Alan recently posted..Mind Article – Willpower Part IIIMy Profile

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