The road to optimal health can seem daunting—and even impossible—depending on which fork in the proverbial road you’re at. Whether you’re losing that last ten pounds or trying to stave off a disease, getting down on yourself and giving up happens pretty regularly. If this sounds like you, baby steps could very well be the travel guide you’ve been looking for.
I recently finished a little book called One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer. You can easily fit it in the palm of your hand, finish it in an afternoon or two, and learn about concepts that will make any goal more approachable. In fact, this seemingly simple guide practically guarantees success. Still, I say “seemingly simple” because actual guaranteed success is far from simple. Wouldn’t you agree?
So what exactly is the “Kaizen Way”? It involves the Japanese technique of “kaizen,” or the art of achieving success through small and steady steps. In other words, you commit to the simplest step you can think of to get you moving toward your goal, something so small that it would be foolish not to do it. If you find yourself unable to take this step, it wasn’t simple enough, and you should consider something even simpler. According to the Kaizen Way, keeping these first steps simple will keep your fear of change from kicking in and stopping you in your tracks.
The SRP Historical Archives is an obvious choice to find a doable first step, no matter what health topic you want to address. Do you need to reduce the amount of sugar you consume? Your Kaizen step could be to read one article a day that will help you better understand the negative effects of sugar on your overall health. Too much? Commit to reading just one article every Tuesday. This self-health knowledge could be just what you need to make the switch to healthy sweeteners and commit to using them only in moderation.
Your next step could lead you to SRP blog posts from writers such as Maria Atwood and Monica Corrado. Here you’ll start learning about traditional cooking and how easy it is to bring it into your daily life.
Whether you want to bring fermented foods, homemade bone broths, or some other traditional cooking habit into your routine, the SRP shop has some great resources. Bone broth enthusiasts can check out Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon and Kaayla T. Daniel. Fermented food novices can try The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. One of my own favorites is Corrado’s With Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen. This treasure trove of traditional cooking covers all of the basics in a way that reassures eventual success. And for help finding trusted resources for gathering all the supplies you’ll need for a healthier daily practice, look for the revised and expanded edition of Stephanie Selene Anderson’s Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! Guide to Healthy Food Shopping, coming soon.
Each of these baby steps will bring you greater wellness and keep you excited about taking on your next step, whether it’s exercise, meditation, or increased water consumption. No matter where you are along the path to optimal health, embrace the beauty of baby steps. In the end, each small step will get you closer to where you want to be. And remember, baby steps are better than no steps at all.
Photo from iStock/peshkov