Dedicated Lark users like yourself, since you have been in the program for a while, know a thing or two about setting goals and going after them. Small changes and gradual habit-building are great strategies for progressing towards larger goals, and Lark DPP users have big goals! They can include losing weight and increasing physical activity with the ultimate goal of lowering risk for type 2 diabetes risk. These are some tips on why and how to take small steps to reach big goals.
Why Step and Not Leap?
If those larger goals are so important, why not leap towards them instead of taking baby steps? Far from selling yourself short, taking small steps can be the best way to make great strides and hold onto the gains long-term.
Have you ever wondered, “Where do I even start?!” A large goal can be so daunting that it is hard to make yourself start working towards it. It can be hard to work towards goals of losing 50 lb., for example, or running a 10k if you rarely even walk for exercise. It can be far easier to get started with mini-goals of having a 12-ounce can of soda instead of a 20-ounce bottle in the afternoons, or walking for 10 minutes three days a week.
Small steps can lead to a good cycle of success breeding success as you establish habits, hit mini-goals, and note your progress. This increases confidence and motivation, making it easier to stay in it for the long haul.
How to Take Small Steps
This is how you can use small steps to make progress towards larger goals after setting them.
Step 1: Break it down. That larger goal may seem far-off and unattainable, but breaking it down into smaller goals establishes a defined path that you can travel. Instead of worrying about what you might do next year (e.g., go on a kayaking trip), you can check off the list things you can do today or this week (e.g., choose reduced-fat dairy products and go to the gym). Things you can do today or soon, along with things you do repeatedly, such as choosing water instead of juice, are good small steps to consider.
Step 2: Track your progress. Track your progress to see how well you are doing and where you might improve. Lark can help with tracking healthy eating, weight, and physical activity, as well as sleep. Keeping a record of progress can increase motivation and also keep you focused on the long-term benefits.
Step 3: Modify as needed. Assess your progress regularly, such as weekly or a couple of times a month, and modify your goal and path to it as needed. Consider it a re-routing process, and not a failure.
Lofty goals such as getting healthier can keep you alive, while striving to reach them can make life worth living. Small steps can keep you motivated and on track as you make progress towards those big goals, and Lark DPP is thrilled to be there as you make those healthy changes!