How often have we heard our friends or family members say things like “I’m going to start eating better,” or “I’m going to start exercising more.”
How often have you said those things? “I’m going to start saying yes more often to social events,” or “I’m going to turn off the TV and read more at night.”
How often has none of it happened?
You’re not alone. It happens to all of us. We know something needs to change and we make a statement to that effect.
Researchers call this the contemplative stage of change. I like to call these moments little-d decisions. They happen when want to change, but we haven’t started yet.
True change, however, happens when we take action–when we make what I like to think of as BIG-D Decisions. That’s when our good intentions come to life.
How do you recognize a BIG-D Decision? They tend to share one or more of these characteristics:
- They start now, as opposed to some time in the future.
- They don’t leave wiggle room for excuses.
- Involve commitment, such as scheduling, accountability, or costs.
Little-d deciding can feel good. And it is good. Change has to begin somewhere. But little-d decisions can also be deceiving, especially when it comes to health. They make us feel like we’re doing something. We think we’re already changing…we’re just waiting until after the next party, the next paycheck, or the next episode.
Big-D health decisions begin when we accept that something has to change–AND there will never be a right time to do it. Big-D Decisions happen when we start.
- Want to be more active? If you’re waiting for the New Year, that’s little-d. BIG-D is taking a 15-minute walk today.
- Dry January? That’s great. But why not dry today? After all, if you can’t do it now, what makes you think it’ll be easier in the coldest, darkest month of the year?
We all make little-d decisions, and that’s a good thing. We need them. But we need to follow them with BIG-D action. And when it comes to your health, sooner is always better.
With a new year upon us, what have you been little d deciding this year that needs to turn into a Big D? Make the commitment, give yourself no wiggle room, and watch 2024 become your best year yet.