For many of us, there’s no shortage in changes we’d like to make. The little voice in our head never seems to shut up about the things we’d like to do better or more consistently. Sometimes we beat ourselves up about bad habits we’d like to break. It can be overwhelming. In this episode, we take a deep breath and a step back to focus instead on small changes and their potentially large impact.
In our last episode “Up Your Energy at Any Age”, Health and Lifestyle Consultant Craig Bruce told us about little shifts we could make in our habits and routines that could potentially have a huge effect. Two important keys for us were that they were small and simple. No matter how good a habit or behavior is for us, the chances of us sticking with it expand exponentially if it’s low on the difficulty scale. Nobody wants to push a boulder up a mountain, these changes are more in line with carrying a rock in your pocket.
After the advice from Craig, both of us used a few of his ideas and came up with some of our own to try. We were blown away not only by the difference they made, but because they made us feel as if we could make even bigger modifications. Success breeds success and getting a small win makes you more confident that you can crush a larger goal.
No one is saying make one tiny change and you’ll wake up tomorrow completely transformed (even though we secretly wish that were true!). We are saying that because it’s less intimidating to start small and you're more likely to be be able to pull it off, it has a better chance of making a difference in your life. We certainly found it to be true! These changes could be health, work or relationship related…actually, they can be anything you want to change or enhance. Examples might be an extra 10 minutes on your walk, a change in your morning routine, writing down something you’re grateful for every day, making time for prayer, changing something you eat or drink or even WHEN you eat or drink it (like having water BEFORE your coffee in the morning—more on that in the episode!).
We’ll fill you in on what worked for us, but more importantly help you figure out what is customizable to you. We are all wired differently and have different needs and demands in our lives. We hope you’ll click play to spend a small amount of time for a potentially big impact in your life!
Sandy Kovach [00:00:02]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast, where we help you imagine your next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage and faith.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:09]:
Thanks for listening to this short and sweet episode of Imagine Yourself. I'm Lanee here with Sandy, and today we are going to have you doing things you have never done so that you can be, feel and live ways that you have never felt before. You're going to walk away feeling brand new. And Sandy, you know this is true, right?
Sandy Kovach [00:00:29]:
Well, what I like best about this is that it's little things to do. It's not like anybody's asking us to wave a magic wand and we're a different person because we're bouncing off our last episode with Craig Bruce, who taught us how to up our energy at any age. The episode right before this, and he had all these small changes that you could make, and I was like, yeah, that's not going to make that big of a difference. But, oh, how wrong I was. So same thing with you, same thing with me.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:57]:
Sandy, I am already new. Do I look different? I know that people can't see this right now, but do I look different?
Sandy Kovach [00:01:02]:
You do. You're glowing.
Lanée Blaise [00:01:05]:
Truly. I tell you, it really was wonderful. I received so many text messages and direct messages ever since this last episode, and I just figured we needed to kind of tell, what exactly are these new things that we are supposed to be doing in our lives that can really make all this change? And like you said, these little things because nobody wants to be asked to push a boulder up a mountain. And that's not what we're asking. It is carry a rock in your pocket type of type of advice. Yeah. So small changes with big impacts. I wanted to start with one that is in my heart overall for everyone. I'll get to the more personal things that I've been doing later. But is it okay if I just start with something that I feel like will benefit and bless everyone?
Sandy Kovach [00:01:52]:
Lanée Blaise [00:01:54]:
So I am Lanee. I am not a doctor. I'm not a scientist. I'm not a statistician or statistics person. But if I could make up a statistic, it would be this. What is the number one thing that will wreck your body and have you fainting, passed out, irritable and unhealthy?
Sandy Kovach [00:02:19]:
The number one thing? Wouldn't that be personal to each person? Or are you saying that there's something that no sleep, exhaustion?
Lanée Blaise [00:02:29]:
Close, but no dehydration? Oh, yes, of course. Not drinking enough water, especially in the summertime. Especially. It has been a super hot summer all over this whole country. Just sandy, the reason that it's like one of those this is a public service announcement, and I know that you said, like, everything is relative to individuals, but this one, as long as you're human and you're made up of water, it affects you. Because I personally know of three men in the past 30 days who have either landed in the emergency room or been laid out and felt like they wanted to go to the emergency room thinking that something had gone terribly wrong. They passed out. They sometimes thought they had a heart attack and it turned out to be, in all three cases, severe dehydration because they decided to wake up and go for like a little 20 minute walk. And they hadn't eaten, they hadn't had any water to drink. And in the morning, this is what we learned from that episode from Craig Bruce. In the morning, if you don't get that water in when you are most vulnerable for dehydration, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Especially if you go for a walk and it's hot, all the things. So bam, that's my first tip, dehydration.
Sandy Kovach [00:03:48]:
Now, see, and that was one of my things too. And I drink a lot of water. So in general, that's not an issue because I really love water. But prior to listening to what Craig Bruce had to say, the first thing I would put in my stomach is I would maybe eat a half a banana or something like that and have breakfast later, but no water. I wouldn't have water till later in the day. When he said, drink water first thing in the morning, I thought, Well, I always have water by my bedside table. It's covered, so it's fine from the night before. Why not just take that water and drink a bunch of it before anything else? How easy is that? And that's what I'm talking about, easy, easy tips. Do you know that my energy, it was a marked difference
Lanée Blaise [00:04:34]:
Because remember, he said to hydrate before you caffeinate? Do you remember that? Yes, that is just like you said. It's just not something that you did and it's made a big difference. And by the way, these three men that I know, they are all doing well now, but they have all had to change. They had to change the way they do things in the morning. But that getting that water in, sometimes even electrolytes or whatever, too, but Gatorade or whatever, but getting that water in has made them healthier, safer, happier, more pleasant to be around, all that good stuff. So that is one easy one.
Sandy Kovach [00:05:09]:
All right, so I did a personal one with the water. Now, what little thing did you do?
Lanée Blaise [00:05:14]:
My personal one has to do with in a way, it has to do with friendships or family members or whatever, but in another way, it has to do with pushing yourself in little ways. So I don't really enjoy exercise and I definitely do not like to perspire or glisten or sweat or any of that stuff. I don't like to get my hair all messed up. So the big thing for me has been this thing where a few of my siblings and friends got together with the app. It's an app called Social Steps. All it really is is on the app, it is free, but you share your information with the other person. So like my brother Gosh, my brother is 20 years younger than me, so it's really not fair. But I shared my Social Steps thing with him so he has access to my iPhone's ability to check how many steps I take, how many miles I walk per day.
Sandy Kovach [00:06:16]:
He can check up on you.
Lanée Blaise [00:06:18]:
Exactly. But it went further because I have a few other sisters who joined and because my brother was running like almost 20 miles a day, we said, what if we ganged up and we tried to just beat him each day? Then some more people started to come in. My husband's on there. Now my kids are on there. So now it's girls versus boys. And whoever has the most steps at the end of each day, the girls or the boys wins. But when the month is over, it's going to be who's got to prepare a meal for the other side, like an amazing meal for the other side. So all this to say is competition, friendship, health, all combined together with technology on an app is what is bringing us to a healthier. So I'm out here walking just because I'm trying to beat my husband, of course, beat my son. I'm trying to beat my brother. That's my personal one. Doing something small and different to make a big impact.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:17]:
I love that. I've done that in the past, the competition. I think you can do that with the Fitbit. I've got an Apple Watch. I mean, there's many or just downloading the app. So there's tons of way to do that. So I love that whether you want to do it with one person or a whole family like you're doing and making a bet, get the stakes in there. So my second little thing is he said that we are prone to get addicted to sugar, that our bodies are designed to get addicted to sugar. And I had to raise my hand on that one. And some people are more prone to it than others. And I would probably be on the top end of that scale and I do pretty well with as long as they're not sweets around the house. But my coffee, I've never been a black coffee drinker, but there have been phases in my life where I've put less sugar in it. But ever since the days of Starbucks lattes and those things are so sweet and you just get used to that sweetness. So I have flavored coffee and I put in sugar in my flavored coffee and also flavored creamer.
Lanée Blaise [00:08:24]:
I know, yes.
Sandy Kovach [00:08:27]:
So what am I doing is I started with like 25% less sugar, and I don't mean exactly 25%, but let's say I'm putting if I had two teaspoons of sugar and I use the nice organic sugar that mixes well in coffee, but it still has all the same calories as regular sugar.
Lanée Blaise [00:08:44]:
Sandy Kovach [00:08:45]:
I know. So I started with moved to a teaspoon and a half, and now I'm down to a teaspoon. So I've cut my sugar down to a half, and then I will work on maybe the cream next. Maybe I'll work on putting a little less cream in. So that's one way, because I drink coffee every day. Two cups. By two cups, I mean two large things. Mugs not exactly cups. So yeah, so that was it. So I've got the water in the morning, and I've got less sugar because.
Lanée Blaise [00:09:13]:
You've weaned yourself down, and it's a small thing, and you're about to do another small thing with the cream. That's what I'm talking about.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:22]:
Yeah. So it all adds up. And I loved Craig Bruce's in the previous episode. He had so many of these small things, and he had some bigger things, too, which, honestly, I couldn't see myself doing right now. But you know what? After starting with some of these small things, I'm thinking, well, maybe I could.
Lanée Blaise [00:09:40]:
Well, that's the thing, too, because this was my last one, which was not a personal one, but it is something that I noticed in general, because it's not just about nutrition and eating and things like that. Craig Bruce had a quote, and it said, work can nourish you or drain you. And that was something that really hit me hard, because he taught us, and we're learning how to have boundaries in this case, I'm learning to have boundaries over my schedule so that I can get the most out of my work day, the most out of my life in a productive and active and strategic way. And I really did spend this last week building out my day differently. No more just trying to wing it or just putting out fires. It's more intentional eating, intentional walking, intentional working. And then because I do writing, intentional writing times, and it has just calmed me down and smoothed me out a lot. It wasn't like I was terrible before, but again, small ways of doing it better than I was before or better results.
Sandy Kovach [00:10:54]:
I love that. I definitely could use that. And I know I was talking to our we've referred to her on the podcast before, Dr. Rita. She's not an actual doctor, but you know how sometimes you go to someone to get your nails done or your hair done or whatever, and they end up being kind of like a counselor?
Lanée Blaise [00:11:10]:
Exactly. That is true, yes.
Sandy Kovach [00:11:14]:
So in our conversation, she listened to the episode as well, and she said she now is doing kind of what you said, except she's focusing on her morning routine, which Craig did spend a lot of time talking about the importance of the morning routine. And she's writing things down, and she's putting in now ten minutes on the elliptical. And that doesn't seem like much. You don't have to go or you don't have to do a 45 minutes on the elliptical or go to the gym even or whatever you have available to you in your home or however you want to incorporate it just this little time. And now she's scheduled that in and has actually written her schedule out for the morning, kind of like Craig recommended. And it's worked for so I was like wow, I want to try that too.
Lanée Blaise [00:11:57]:
Ten minutes. And for people like me, you don't even regularly have to get your hair messed up.
Sandy Kovach [00:12:04]:
Start little and then you might want to build more time in once you get the advantages of that. I think there's so much of our life, whether it's being faithful in little things we do, our habits, our health, our integrity, our relationships with others, doing right by others, I think it all adds up.
Lanée Blaise [00:12:26]:
I agree. Yeah. I think there is so much room for us to appreciate the small things. Also biblically, do not despise small beginnings. It's just something that our society might not focus on or lean into. But personally, because we are doing new things so that we can be new people, we might want to take advantage of a focus on small things and celebrating those little small wins and it builds up and before you can turn around, good. You have become a new person with new habits and new life and new ways in your spiritual life, in your fitness life, work life, in your productivity, everything.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:12]:
Looking at this in a broader perspective, in a biblical perspective and looking at it in a habits perspective. And we've all heard of micro habits and atomic habits and every other habit book there is. They all talk about the little habits. So just pick one. Everybody pick a habit. Pick something little like drinking water in the morning, or taking a walk, or sharing your steps with somebody, or doing a devotional in the morning or one little thing.
Lanée Blaise [00:13:40]:
One little thing. At the end of the day, you know we love imagine yourself and if you want to imagine yourself in your best way, in your new way, imagine yourself doing something different, something small, something wonderful that'll make a better you, a more blessed you, a more healthy you.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:58]:
And we would love to hear about your small change or even if it's a bigger one, drop us a line, go to imagineyourselfpodcast.com to email us or hit us up on social media. Also highly recommend the episode we were talking about that's right before this. Up your energy at any age with health and lifestyle consultant Craig Bruce. He had a lot of great tips for habits and health and more. You'll find a link to that in the Show Notes as well as links to our website and firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a moment to give us a rating or review, we would absolutely love that. It not only helps us to shape our future episodes, but also makes it easier for other folks to find us. Until next time, when we have something new to imagine. Here's to your small changes and big impact.