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Our choices determine our success. A simple concept that we often forget.

This theory can be applied not only to our professional and personal life, but also to achieving our fitness goals. Staying healthy is a result of many different factors: commitment, eating habits, etc. It’s up to the individual to maintain certain habits in order to achieve their goals.

It’s true that one day of being a lazy couch potato isn’t so bad, but if you choose to let this behavior become a habit, things will spiral out of control. It’s a choice to take the lazy couch potato mentality from an occasional thing to a full-blown habit.

Let’s say you wanted to turn your life around and get healthy. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching tv every night you start going for walks every day after dinner.  Instead of grabbing take-out, fast food, or even packing a sandwich and chips for lunch, you begin packing healthy salads filled with fresh veggies instead. Each small action by itself doesn’t seem like very much, but this small change can be the catalyst for big results.

How many people know what they should be doing?
How many people start doing the things they should do, but then fizzle out shortly after?

Just a small step can make a big impact. Just like water will carve canyons, your baby steps in the right direction will add up. Author Jeff Olson of “The Slight Edge” explains the power of small steps in the right direction. He explains that successful people use “the slight edge” to their advantage.
slight edge pic

The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.” –Jeff Olson, “The Slight Edge”.

What Olson means is, successful people do little things that seemingly make no difference to outsiders. Little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or ordering a salad instead of a hamburger. These little substitutions are irrelevant to outsiders, but to a person striving for success, the little steps cause the biggest reaction.

By themselves, these small steps seem insignificant. It’s easy to eat vegetables, just like it’s easy not to eat vegetables. Over time, your small decisions will add up to either help you succeed or cause a major setback.

Here is a list of simple things you can probably do today that over time will have a positive impact on your overall health:

  • No screens an hour before bed. Read a book instead.
  • Go for a short walk after dinner.
  • Eat an extra helping of vegetables, not mashed potatoes.
  • Drink a glass of water every morning after you wake up.
  • Order a salad instead of a hamburger.
  • Snack on an apple instead of potato chips.

Everything listed is easy to do and easy to skip. The choice is yours.

The next time you have the simple choice of doing, or not doing something simple and easy ask yourself these two questions:

“Will this simple action get me closer to my goals?”
“What type of habit am I building by deciding to take this action?”

You’ll likely know if you are doing the right thing or not!

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alexGuest post by Alex Titarenko.  Alex is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NESTA Certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist, and fitness, nutrition & self development enthusiast… who occasionally likes to enjoy a good slice of pizza.

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