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  • Writer's pictureLaura Greer

Slow and Steady Steps: The Power of Compounding to Help You Reach Your Wellness Goals

Eight years ago I could barely kick a soccer ball around with my daughter, let alone raise my kitchen windows.

If you're scratching your head, let me explain. To reach my kitchen windows I have to lean over rather large countertop. With chronic pain and lack of strength, it was difficult for me to get them open.

I'm short, and even getting on a step stool led to a few awkward, albeit comical, outcomes.

Between that and getting so winded as I would kick a soccer ball around with my daughter, I decided I was done putting myself on the back burner. I was done feeling like crap. I was done with being overweight. I was done with unmanageable pain.

I was done with things that happen when we neglect ourselves for too long.

Done with things that might actually be within some level of my control.

As I approached my 40th birthday, I thought there had to be more than feeling like this day in and day out. Always feeling tired. Always lacking energy. Always in pain. Tired of taking medication after medication to the point I didn't know what was me and what was the side effects. I knew something needed to change.

But it felt so overwhelming.

Eight years later, I'm so grateful I dug in my heels and leaned into the overwhelm. I can look back and say one step absolutely made the difference.

One Step

Just after moving to our neighborhood, I saw the community center had a free yoga class. I emailed the instructor.

That was my first step.

I was so self-conscious. I had it in my mind I'd need to ask permission to be the out of shape mom in the class with no balance, no stamina and who would probably be the one embarrassing myself by falling over, or worse, farting in the middle of class.

Yeah, I said it. Just keeping it real because I know I'm not the only one who worries about these things. Let's push past the worry and fear that cause roadblocks on our journey toward better health and wellness.

The instructor was so gracious and accepting, but also encouraging and equipping. She shared that her class would not only be open and welcoming to someone in my condition, but also that I certainly wasn't the only person with this type of concern.

Have you ever noticed we sometimes have conversations in our heads that don't represent the reality of what actually could be? I could've easily talked myself out of sending that email because I was too clumsy, too overweight, didn't have the cutesy yoga clothes, or any other number of excuses.

It was time to stop making excuses!

So, once a week I attended those classes. I made a commitment, in part because I knew if I didn't start leading by example, my own children may grow into unhealthy adults. I also made it a commitment that was intentionally small, manageable, and reduced as much friction as possible toward being able to complete it.

My first step was to send that email. My second step was to speak with the instructor. My third step was to find the least appalling sweat outfit in my dresser. My fourth step was the self-talk I needed, even if I didn't believe it at the time, that I was worth taking care of myself and this once a week effort would actually pay off.

And pay off it did. I once struggled with believing that small steps like this could make a difference. But when you put them on repeat, it can truly be life-changing.

Once a week, I took time for me. I took an hour to stretch, meditate and pray. That may not sound like that much, but over the course of my 40th rotation around the sun, I learned to accept that I was worth taking care of myself. I learned to pay more attention to the things I need to do for my body, mind and soul. That once a week yoga session eventually led to better hydration, and more gentle movement in the form of walking. Within a year I felt so much better and lost 40 pounds.

What changed? My mindset. Instead of looking for instant answers and quick fixes, I began to understand the power of repeated small efforts. It's like compound interest. If you repeatedly invest in yourself, even small amounts, interest (benefits) grow and compound exponentially.

This week I encourage and challenge you to take your next best step in the direction of one of your wellness goals. Commit to repeating small steps on a regular basis so you can experience the wonderful compounded benefits of regularly investing in yourself.

What's your next one, small, simple step?

Put it in writing and share here to increase your accountability. Remember to keep it small and sustainable so it can be repeated over and over. You've got this!👇


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