Start small… go back to the basics.

I’ve been struggling to get back into the habit/routine of working out. I haven’t been fully committed to my workouts, especially running, over the past several months. The problem is I want to be at the level I was when I fell off the wagon. I’ve said it before… I know what I’m capable and it is frustrating to feel so far from my best.

When you haven’t been consistent you need to go back to the beginning. But it is so hard!

I want to just be great at eating healthy and making good diet choices. I wish I could go out and run 10:30 miles. But I can’t. I have to take it slow and steady. I have to start small and build on the healthy habits.

I am lucky I don’t have to start at the bottom, but I am close. Instead of just running six miles I am run/walking. I do get frustrated but I know I will be better off in the long run.

start small

Getting back on the horse with run/walks

My diet has been off the rails. I’ve been eating a lot of sugar for energy and to make myself feel better. I know sugar fixes these things temporarily. I am not quitting sugar cold turkey. I am cutting back. Instead of the entire box of Milk Duds, I am having a handful. Instead of getting a Snickers and Reese’s peanut butter cup from the vending machine I get one or the other. I am making sure I am getting my fruits and vegetables. I am working hard to eat all the protein!

Start small.

If you want to start eating better or working out pick one thing and focus on it until it becomes second nature.

Looking to improve your diet? Start small and make sure you are drinking enough water. Once you have water intake as a habit add something else. Want to eat more fruit and vegetables? Add one serving to each meal. Eat too much chocolate? Cut one serving from each day.

Want to start working out? Look at where you are now and add something. Do you sit at a desk all day? Get up and take a 15-minute walk break twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). Stretch each night after dinner. Once these feel like second nature add another walk after work. Or at lunch.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t need to be difficult. It just needs to be something you can do. You just add more as you get comfortable with the last step.

Just start.

And keep at it. You will stumble. You will fall but what matters is how you react. Do you get back up, dust yourself off, and start again? Or do you give up and start surfing the couch?

How do you start small when you get off track? Leave your ideas in the comments.


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.