I woke this morning realising that no matter whether you are trying to save the planet, get fit, lose weight or learn to be a lot more frugal the key to success is about making small steps in the right direction. It seems we all fall for this rhetoric of wanting to be INSTANTLY slim, fit, rich, attractive, self-sufficient – you name it if we cannot figure out a way to get to our objectives fast then it all becomes a little pointless.
Right now I’m doing all of the above. Without an income I have to learn to live on a budget (and fast!). Having picked up weight again due to stress, inactivity and apathy I want to lose it again, fast! My head is spinning with ideas for a new career but THREE YEARS of study, you have got to be kidding! As for saving the planet I do my bit but that’s not nearly enough. Oh and fitness, well yes there is that too. Yesterday I think my total step count barely made 2000 – it was raining!!!! I’ve given up on beauty and attractiveness – seems somewhat pointless so at least that’s one less thing I need to worry about.
So whilst this blog started out on food swaps, today I’ve decided it’s going to turn into lifestyle swaps. No matter what it is you are focussed on what steps can you take in the right direction? Here are a few that I have incorporated over the last few years:
- I never take the lift, no matter how many stories I take the stairs. Just check out the impact if you take this approach. Here is a link to a website I found outlining the benefits of climbing stairs.
- If I have to drive to places I visit regularly be it the supermarket, office or a doctor’s surgery then I have learnt to park within an easy walking distance as it increases my steps for the day. Visit WalkingforHealth to find out about the simple benefits of walking. Not only do I do this but if the journey is not too far and I have time, then I walk. I even go to the local park and ride and walk into the city from there.
- Set yourself a long term goal – mine is to walk all the National Paths in Britain before I die. It’s a slow process but so far I have walked over 100 miles of the Thames Path, only 84 miles to go before I can get my certificate. I’ve captured my journey on my other blog site “Quitting Sugar“.
- If you have a bicycle then use it. Again consider whether it is an alternative to jumping behind the wheel of your car. Walking and cycling not only benefit your health they benefit your wallet and the planet. 3 in 1 – TOTAL WIN!
- Ages ago I bought a dryer (yes total eco failure but in Britain they are a must!), however, my tiny contribution was to buy a Condenser Dryer – at least this way I can use the water for my plants. Small steps, remember!
- I switched from buying bottled water to investing in a Sodastream. We make our own sparkling water.
- I bought an econetic car. Not only is it environmentally friendly it is cheap to run as I don’t pay tax and it goes and goes before I have to refill the tank.
- Whenever my income is significantly reduced then I start to shop in Aldi and Lidl instead of Ocado & Sainsburys. Heaven knows why as Lidl’s veg and bakery is amazing! To be fair I use Ocado when I am working as I simply don’t have the time to shop around and they are by far the most reliable with regards to substitutions and stock! As for Sainsbury’s well that’s 2 miles from home, easy!
- Another cut back I make when the income stream is low is to cut out luxuries and build a budget. All of a sudden I pay attention to prices. So not only do I check out the ingredients on every new item I buy to avoid sugar but I’m now standing in the aisles googling the prices online to make sure what I’m buying is the best value for money.
So there you have it. That’s how my lifestyle has changed over the years and it has not happened in an instant. It’s taken time but the result is I am healthier, lighter and wiser. All of which make me happier.
Your challenge if you have read this far is to ask yourself “What small change will you make today?”. Comment and let me know.
As or my next food swap – check out this recipe for flourless muffins from food blogger – Makingthyme4health, I used blackberries instead of blueberries.