Why Starting Small is Starting Smart When Setting Goals: Interview with Jane Hogan

Why Starting Small is Starting Smart When Setting Goals: Interview with Jane Hogan – Episode 156

Episode Summary

Join me this week on the Fit is Freedom Podcast as we change things up a bit! A while back, I had the pleasure of visiting with Jane Hogan, Wellness Engineer, on her podcast, Wellness by Design. It was such a pleasant experience that I wanted to share it with you! So, listen in as Jane leads our conversation on “why starting small is starting smart” by answering the following questions:

  • How do you want to feel?
  • How can I become pain-free?
  • What’s my minimum daily movement?
  • How can I make it stick? 

We’ll also share some tips on how to create a lifestyle change from a small start through…

  • Rewarding yourself to start
  • Changing it up
  • Giving yourself grace

Listen to the full podcast episode below!

Or Watch the Video on YouTube!

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More about Jane Hogan

As I shared above, Jane Hogan is a Wellness Engineer and the host of the Wellness By Design Podcast. As her title suggests, in her past life, she spent decades in the engineering world before suffering from health struggles that altered her life’s trajectory. Since then, Jane has dedicated her time and her career to using her previous life in science and her spiritual journey to help others rid themselves of chronic pain and become the best versions of themselves.


Why you should start small

When it comes to setting goals and wanting to make life changes, people will oftentimes dive in head first. Want to eat healthier? Well, some will rid their life of any and all potentially “bad” foods and refuse to make exceptions to their new diet. Want to start a fitness journey? Well, some will start by making a rigid schedule of 6-7 days a week of gym time. 

While this may work for some people, making such quick and drastic changes can actually alter your success in the long run. Instead of having an “all-in”, “go big or go home” attitude to your health and fitness journey, what if you took a softer, more realistic approach? 

If this sounds more your speed, then you can start by asking yourself the questions below.  Determine what’s important and how you can build your way to successful changes in your life.

How do I want to feel?

Before you set out on making any kind of life change, you’re going to be more successful if you understand your why. One great way to know your why is to ask yourself, how do I want to feel? This simple question can unlock what you should be focusing on in a more positive and realistic way. For example, maybe you want to feel strong. In that case, you can think about small and simple ways to start feeling stronger. Or, maybe you want to feel energized? This could be weaving in more sleep each night or incorporating some workouts to give you energy. 

Getting this clarity in what you want through thinking about how you want to feel will start you off on the right track to making changes for the better.

How can I become pain-free?

If the way you want to feel is inhibited by any previous injuries or struggles, it’s important to address those from the get-go. If you have previous knee issues, start small by learning how to prevent further injury and heal through talking with your doctor or other professionals. Addressing potential setbacks ahead of time will keep you from derailing in the future.

What’s my minimum daily movement?

Starting small is all about being realistic and not overwhelming. Once you’ve determined how you want to feel and you’ve addressed ways to ensure you’re pain-free, ask yourself, what is your minimum daily movement? If you’re overloaded with work and stressed with kids at home, can you simply take the stairs instead of the escalator at work? Or maybe you wake up 10 minutes earlier to do a 10-minute yoga flow on Youtube? 

Once you start with these minimal changes in your movement, it’s like the snowball effect. You’ll see that the minimum you found will change over time as your strength changes and your priorities start shifting.

How do we make it stick?

You’ve determined what you need to do minimally to get started, and you’re on your path to greatness! But, how do you know that it’ll stick this time? How will starting small be different than the other times you’ve tried before when you just dove in head first? Here are some tips for making sure it sticks!

Plan Ahead

Ever heard of FPA? In our Fit is Freedom community, it means “Friggin plan ahead,” AKA if you don’t plan it, it’s not real. Decide ahead of time what you’re going to do. Set out your clothes the night before. Plan out your rest days and stick to them. Making a plan will make it happen, especially when you’re starting small!

Start with rewards

Rewards can be a great way to increase your motivation at the beginning. While they may not be for everyone, I’ve always found them fun when starting small and trying to develop a habit. Maybe you have a favorite TV show? If you do, you could reward yourself by watching it on the days that you achieve your goal. Something as simple as this could help train your brain to develop these small changes into a habit! 

Change it up

Some of us are creatures of habit, but when it comes to fitness and health goals, you’ll stick to them better if you add in some variety every now and again. Try that pilates class at the gym. Go for a hike every now and again. Your muscles, your body, and your brain need to be kept on their toes, and it will make reaching your goals much more fun and enjoyable in the long run!

Give yourself grace

One of the biggest problems with starting big is that people get burned out or they are too hard on themselves when they “fail”. Whether they decide to completely quit all processed foods or workout 6 days a week with no excuses, having a setback or a moment of weakness can bring your mindset and success to a screeching halt. If you give yourself grace and have a softer approach to your goals, I find that people are more successful long term.

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