Make One Small Change That Matters

The dire warnings keep coming at us: virtually everything we do, it seems, will kill us. Maybe it’s because I’m a fitness blogger and I’m always looking for the research studies to comment on, but in the past six months I’ve seen headlines that tell me…

  • Blogging will kill you.
  • Sitting will kill you.
  • Your diet will kill you.

It makes you want to pull the sheets over your head and quiver—but that’ll probably kill you too. Of course, the irony is none of us are getting out of here alive.

Testing the waters of a lifestyle change is scary. The vegans can seem a bit holier than thou. The gym rats look down their noses at the new pudgy guy. The work/life balance people are impossibly smug (and, I suspect, faking it).

Who needs to walk into all that when all you really want is to feel a little bit, well, gooder?

Of course, the vegans are actually quite friendly, most of the gym rats used to be the new pudgy guy, and … well, frankly, I’m still suspicious of the work/life people…

But these are our fears, projected onto the change we want to make—not the actual situation itself. (Guess I’m still scared of work/life balance eh?)

Pick one little thing

Please don’t fling yourself into a huge, new, unachievable lifestyle. Choose small changes and let them snowball.

When I switched to healthier living, my big first decision was to walk to work. You might think that’s a big deal but I only lived half a mile from my Pilates studio. The decision actually cost me zero time because it meant I didn’t have to search for a parking spot in my busy neighborhood, and I burned an extra 100 calories or so a day.

That’s it. It’s not earth-shattering. It’s just a baby step.

Then I switched to organic dairy, then organic meats, then a little kitchen herb gardening, then training for a 5km run, and so on. All these changes took place over the period of a year, and I barely noticed how much my life had changed. I did notice that I was feeling a whole lot better and sashaying around in jeans a size smaller. My clients noticed my new energy and business actually picked up. (That was a nice bonus!)

What would your first step be? I’m sure something has already popped into your mind. Do that. Don’t think too much, just do that one thing! If it doesn’t work you can always ditch it after a couple of weeks and try something else. Nothing is irreversible here.

Let me know what your first change to healthy living was if you’ve already started—and please share with us what you’d like your next change to be. Be impulsive and just throw it into the comments below. That tiny commitment from your keyboard will help to boost you towards a better life. It might also give others a few ideas…

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson runs her own successful fitness blog at Lisa Johnson Fitness and is frequently seen hanging around Twitter @LisaJohnson. She also runs a few Pilates studios, Modern Pilates Boston.


  1. I’ve cut 9 lbs. this week and my wife is down 11lbs. FOR THE WEEK!

    Knowing how the body works and what little things make a big difference in fat metabolism is key.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    My most recent change was switching to a gluten free lifestyle. I had to cut out many things in the beginning but now I don’t miss them. There are plenty of health stores and even grocery stores that offer gluten free foods.

    I did drop some pounds as a result even though that wasn’t my intention. I feel much better physically as a result.

  3. Good for you Justin, your body is just right sizing and if you feel great then I’m sure you’re doing what’s best for your body 🙂

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Very simple yet powerful post you got there. Well I feel guilty that I have been missing my dance classes the past days. But really I miss dancing. So that’s really the first step I should do- go back to dancing or going to our sport center to walk/jog. Then next would be choosing to eat more healthy foods. Basically that should be it.
    Anyway, thank you for your great insight! Baby steps 😉


  5. Sarah O'Leary says:

    Nice post. My favorite part is that we can choose something, and if it doesn’t work, just ditch it and try something else! It’s not about failing, it’s about finding our own right path to wellness.
    I’m going to recommit to a short session of stretching and pilates on those days that I don’t get to the gym or out on a run. Got to get the body moving somehow.

  6. Floricel & Sarah, thanks for adding your voices to the discussion.

    Floricel, I think you’re right, go with the passion, for you that is definitely dance! Get that back into your life and then plan small changes from there.

    Sarah, I love Pilates! (I own a studio) so I’m totally with you on the Pilates. Sometimes a quick DVD or online workout will help keep you motivated.


  7. Losing and giniang Losing and giniang any weight that fast isn’t healthy at all. The best way to lose weight is when it’s done in a slow steady pace that way your body can adjust itself better and that’s where you really lose the weight and keep it off. I’m not saying it’s impossible, because I’ve lost 10 pounds in a week, but it depends on ones body. I’ve found out by allowing the body to adjust the weight stays off longer. I’ve been a size 8 for about yr and 1/2. Good luck on your goal.

  8. after failing diet after diet i decided to start really small and just started having a glass of water before everything i ate, i carried on eating the same as usual so didnt really feel like i was doing much different however within weeks i noticed i was having smaller portions and sometimes when i really couldnt face another glass of water i would leave the chocolate cake calling my name. this tiny change started to have massive effects and the weight started falling off, its been 1 month and i have now made small change no 2 which is to replace my high carb, high sugar cereal breakfast for a more healthy alternative every day. iv decided to make one small change a month amd hopefully by christmas i will have noticed a major change to my life and my happiness 🙂

  9. I blog often and I genuinely thank yyou for your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going tto take a note of your website annd keep checking for new information about once
    per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  10. Un factor adicional que ayuda al posicionamiento en Google consiste en la vali­dación del
    código HTML para eludir los errores de código HTML que puedan existir en la página web.
    El sitemap mapa web ofrece una visión general del
    contenido de la página a los buscadores. Los sitemaps, por norma general suelen estar estructurados de forma jerárquica y pueden prosperar el posicionamiento de
    una web, en tanto que, es una forma de asegurar que
    todas y cada una tus páginas van a estar indexadas.
    En sitios web con mucho contenido y páginas dinámicas, se suelen usar ficheros XML para apuntar qué paginas deben encontrarse, si bien los primordiales buscadores
    también admiten otros formatos, semejantes como RSS, ficheros de texto HTML.

  11. Nice replies in return of this difficulty with real arguments and telling the
    whole thing regarding that.

  12. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your weblog
    posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

Speak Your Mind