When I work with clients, one of the principles in my coaching regardless of their health issue is to take baby steps. I’ve spoken in the past about one Today’s the Day weight loss client who just decided the only thing she would do to begin with was increase her water to one-half her body weight in ounces and include ¼ tsp of unprocessed salt for every 32 oz. She didn’t change how she ate or increase exercise or anything else. And within the first 3 weeks she lost about 7 lbs with almost no effort. She just took the first baby step!
I try to make it clear to clients that all they have to do is begin. Take one small step and that will lead to another and another and before they even realize it they have made really meaningful changes but they’ve done it so gradually it becomes effortless.
Well obviously I believe in baby steps. But during this experience I learned about the importance of baby steps in a new way. I couldn’t walk more than a few feet without getting out of breath and feeling exhausted. For someone who has always been fit, strong and energetic, that was discouraging. But each time I was able to walk a few more steps, I had to celebrate that baby step – no matter how small – and keep trying.
Even sitting up for any length of time at the beginning was really uncomfortable and downright painful after just a very few minutes. But again, there were baby steps. If I could comfortably sit up for 30 minutes one day before getting too uncomfortable, adding even 5 minutes the next time was a triumph. Each baby step led to another until I found I was walking almost normally after only a few weeks and able to sit up for several hours.
The Bible tells us in Zechariah 4:10 not to despise the day of small beginnings. I especially love how the New Living Translation says it: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
That says it all to me – I set different milestones for myself even while in the hospital. Get the catheter out; get the drain out; walk the entire floor after lunch. Then I continued once I got home. They were extremely small milestones, but they represented progress in the right direction and that is what is important.
Do you appreciate the value of taking baby steps toward whatever goal you are working on?
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