This post is about starting at the very first step, and beginning by taking one step at a time. And of course, to keep smiling through it all.

Do not let yourself get bogged down by numbers. Numbers on the scales. Number of daily steps. Number of daily calories. There is a time and place for the introduction of tracking activity and calorie intake etc, no doubt, but for an individual taking the first step(s) the fundamentals of implementing a healthier lifestyle have to take priority, they are to move more often and make healthier food choices. That’s it. Move more often in whatever way you feel comfortable and enjoy and make better food and dietary choices that suit you, your taste, your budget, your schedule and your family and social life.

The first step I’m referring to can be the most daunting, the most challenging, the most overwhelming of them all. However it can also be the most rewarding. The root of any positive change has to start with you. It requires a desire to change and a firm decision to make a change. A change which is backed up by consistency and commitment.

Unsure where to start or what kind of changes you can implement immediately:

Here are a few suggestions:

– Cook a fresh hot meal
– Cut takeaways by 1 from your usual weekly amount
– Swap lifts/escalators for stairs
– Make a note of three things to be happy/grateful for each day
– Exercise (in whatever way you want) with a friend
– No internet/technology after 9:30pm
– Drink a pint of water every time you eat
– Make a food diary
– Have 2 less cigarettes than you usually would
– Walk one journey that you would usually drive (local shop, school run etc)
– Arrange lunch with a friend
– Have a portion of vegetable with every hot meal

Mood, food and exercise. These are just a few very simple changes that apply to all three that can be implemented by anybody, effective immediately, which could have a major impact on a change in mindset for you. Once that trigger in your mind is switched there are no limits to what you can achieve. But that initial desire and genuine want to change has to come from within. Don’t over-complicate things for yourself, don’t take on too much. Don’t over-whelm yourself. Start at the first step, and take it a step at a time.