These ideas sound so simple, yet our frenzied lives don't often allow for such "indulgences." The key is that the more you can come through on these small promises to yourself, the more you begin to trust yourself to follow through in other areas of your life.
Think about the times you've let yourself down. (Oh, no - here comes that inner critic.) Now you've got a chance to lift yourself up.
One small habit I instituted in my life began on the Fourth of July weekend. I started to wear a pedometer each day to measure the number of steps I'm taking. This was inspired by the "walk at lunch" rally held by Blue Cross/Blue Shield this past spring. I got my pedometer from them and have worn it ever since.
My husband and I started to keep a log, and I've dutifully entered my numbers each day - even when I've been out of town. Now I find myself issuing special challenges to myself - taking the stairs, parking farther away to get more steps in, etc.
Grocery-store days are a big bonus. I never realized how many steps I could get in by going up and down the aisles! Now I don't even complain when I'm at the checkout counter and I've forgotten an item and have to go back to get it.
The point is that I know I can count on myself to fulfill this commitment no matter what. And that has spurred me on to incorporate other constants in my life. My conscious and subconscious minds now recognize this as an ongoing behavior, and it's easy to comply.
I don't always make my goal of 10,000 steps each day, but I don't beat myself up about it either, because I know I'm going to have other opportunities every day. I now go for a weekly average of 10,000 steps per day and plan to get in additional "insurance" steps on some days to offset the days I don't walk as much.
And so it is with the things that are constant in our lives. One small step for me ... one giant leap for mankind.
And the waves roll in - even while we're sleeping.
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and founder/
chairwoman of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm in Charleston. Reader comments or questions may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or e-mailed to livinglifefu...@arnoldagency.com.