When you want to make changes in your life, do so in small steps. This is not only easier to accomplish, but also increases your likelihood of success in the long term. In the context of Five Alive, one way to accomplish this is via swapping. Instead of simply eliminating an item or behavior, immediately replace it. This is what I call a Mudge Nudge – create a small positive stimuli as a catalyst for change.
Here are five examples to get you started with swapping:
Finance – Swap your regular credit card for a second credit card for online purchases only; it will be easier to track purchases, and provide extra security in case a website is hacked.
Food – Swap chips and cheese puffs for kale chips or 3 ingredient chips (potato + salt + olive oil)
Fitness – Swap a morning coffee break for a lap around the office, walking a flight of stairs or a walk around the block.
Friends – Swap a trip for groceries or errands (order you online or pick it up at the store), for a personal visit with a friend.
Fun – Swap an evening of TV or movies for an activity completely new to you – a cooking class, making jewelry, go to the local climbing gym, or this month, immerse yourself in learning more Black History.
When you swap, you don’t feel the loss of something because the gap has been replaced. Make it a challenge to find options for those behaviors you’d like to improve and be sure to give yourself credit when you choose the new option.