In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma teaches his son Helaman that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). This truth can also be used as a guide to the personal changes we decide to make in 2019. The month of January can be a time for self-reflection and an opportunity to consider starting—or stopping—some of the small and simple things in our daily routines. Before beginning the year by jumping into a large and complex fitness-centered goal, it may be of long-term value to pause and attempt some smaller and simpler changes. These two easy suggestions can help you begin the process of building a more attentive, stronger, and healthier you.
Electronic Devices: Time is a priceless resource that, sadly, is all too often wasted due to social media, gaming, email updates, or the nagging fear that you aren’t capturing enough of your moments in photos. Altering your dependence on electronic devices can boost mental health and create room for healthy habits to grow. Before considering a time-intensive or schedule-altering health goal, consider tracking the time spent with your electronic devices. Awareness instigates change and provides sincere motivation. A small and simple change to lessen the grip of electronic devices in our lives can give us more time to spend on healthy habits, as well as provide a much-needed break that benefits our mental health. Consider staying off of one portion of your device at a designated time in the evening. After dinner, try avoiding all social media or games. A small change to be in control can make a large difference.
10-a-day: This small and simple habit can precede, or prepare you for, the classic gym membership commitment. Especially if you have started and failed to maintain a membership in the past, consider making a simpler in-home change first. First, choose an exercise that is not completely horrifying to you: crunches, toe-touches, push-ups, squats, calf raises. Then, begin by doing 10 repetitions of the exercise every day. Try this out for a while and be aware of your progress. If this is something that you easily achieve, the next small and simple change can be to increase the repetitions to 15 or 20. After that, another small and simple step might be to add in an additional type of exercise. This simple change shows your desire to improve, and it can help you as you start to clear time in your schedule for self-care. If you are able to establish a habit of doing this each day, it will be easier for you to step up to the more time-intensive exercise commitments when you are ready to tackle them.