When Little Changes Make the World of Difference…

It’s the middle of February, already and I have a feeling that a lot of resolutions may well have been tossed aside by now. I have to say that I am all for change and creating better habits out of bad habits. And little changes work well, especially if they are so small as to be ridiculous not to achieve them. Just going to bed earlier one night a week is a lot easier than trying to go to bed earlier every night. Very soon that good feeling from sleeping well makes you want to add another early night to your week and so incremental-habit-changing works it’s way into your life.


The last time I decided to jump start our moving about-ness, we joined a gym it was a pretty hilarious, read disastrous event. And while it was fabulous to have a great programme for our kids to participate in while I worked out, I wasn’t loving it… there is a vast difference between going to gym when you are fit and when you are totally unfit and clueless about what to do. And when the kids programme turned into them sitting around watching movies while the coaches painted their own nails, my kids begged me to stop. I persisted, until all the elite swimmers kept taking the stairs out of the pool and some people, just saying (me), cannot get out of a pool with any sort of saving face, if the stairs are not in place. So we started a daily amble and that was life changing for all us, our daily ambles became family hikes, noting spectacular in sporting achievement, just getting up and getting out there and it was wonderful. It has been great in ways we could never have imagined, exercise was a great benefit, but I discovered my essential need to be outdoors.

Meanwhile, I realised that in the scheme of things I wasn’t get the time I needed, just relaxing. It appears that there is always something else for a mother to do… and everyone talks about “eating the frog” and getting those hard tasks out of the way at the start of the day. I decided that it was time to stop waiting for time to come to me and to actively seek it out. So last year I started reading for real again, after years of reading as a default, because I had to get a book review out. I decided to start my day by reading a chapter of any book I wanted to… kids books, classics, rereads, cookbooks… anything. It was my best reading year ever and I learnt to enjoy reading again… one chapter a day very quickly became large chunks of book. Reading first thing in the morning, before glancing at my phone or doing any chores, really put work into perspective. And what can I say, small steps are life changing!!!


This year I realised that I could up my game a little more and do my mornings a little more consciously. You see I function very well on rewards (love me a great reward), so previously I would reward myself with a coffee for getting up, then I would reward myself for surviving breakfast, and another reward/coffee for getting half way through school. I realised that this wasn’t fine coffee, it was just ordinary coffee, I wasn’t even enjoying it that much… and there was way too much of it. Crazy, I know. So I dropped the coffee habit. Can I hear a gasp!!! I will only drink coffee if I am out on a coffee date. And I have replaced my morning coffee with with a glass of lemon water in the great outdoors… and then read a chapter of my book before beginning the day. Honestly it feels like a little holiday every day.


Another thing, this year we have a couple of hikes planned. They are harder than the hikes we have been doing and I would like to introduce overnight hikes to our gang. I don’t want to go in cold, but our daily ambles are not going to hack it any more… so we started the Park Run… realistically its the Park Walk for us. And thats ok, because it gets us up on a Saturday and everyone is moving.


I quickly realised that if I did a Park Run three times a week I would be fitter than I have been in years. But oh I can’t want to do it on my own, not to mention I have a lingering foot injury that is driving me mad. I needed a little bit of an intervention. And then I got an email from a friend… Would I like to join the Sport Science Institute’s Healthy Wight Programme in exchange for some honest blogging? And actually that is a dream come true for me. I do want to be fitter and healthy, and their program is all about holistic health, and not focused as the name would suggest, on weight at all.


Just saying, I start this week… I will be up at 5:30 to head to the gym for the first time since before I had kids (19 years ago -gasp). I have started the longest audio book series I could think of, to accompany me on the journey to and fro. I will be doing things that I know in my head that I thought I would never ever do again. Of course the biggest and most overriding challenge at this point is what will I wear? I have a pair of leggings, I have hiking socks… but I don’t have (ahem) “suitable for gym” foundation wear. And shoes, oh my goodness I never thought of that when I signed up… I have hiking boots and my fave croc loafers. I am going to have to invest in some sport shoes and I have no idea what I am looking for… it has been centuries since I did that, not to mention the terrifying price of all things athletic. It is going to be an interesting ride, not to mention a steep learning curve. You can follow my journey at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.

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I would like to thank SSISA for the free training/mentoring I am getting in exchange for an honest blog post. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

29 Replies to “When Little Changes Make the World of Difference…”

  1. I am facing several of the same challenges- can’t wait to see this come together for you!

  2. So excited about this! I don’t live in South Africa so I won’t be able to utilize the same program, but I do need a plan! This looks like inspiration. Good job on the habits you’ve already created!

  3. Hay Christi, I think you get to a space where your kids are older, and you don’t realize how lost you were in the madness of it all, and you almost emerge… and think hmmm… time to get myself in order again. So that’s what I have been leaning towards for a while. I have done masses, but I need to do more… and just being accountable I have a feeling will help me to get back on my feet, literally!!! I’ll get back to you next week after a week of workouts!!!

  4. Hay Aimee, There comes a time when you think, hmmm I need to do something about the state I am in… and then there comes a time much later, when you realize that you have to do something. I am there!!! I am going to blog about it over the next couple of weeks. So you are welcome to follow along and check it out…

  5. Hay Debbie, It has been a year of small steps… the thing is when steps are small you can’t help loving it and looking forward to it. When steps are big, it can just be too overwhelming and you quit… so yay for small steps… I am all for them too!!! Hope you have a fantastic day!!!

  6. Don’t let’s get started on the cost of all things athletics… I bought a pair of running pants for almost R500 before I discovered my little
    Factory shop and got my latest pair for R90 … gasp

    I also attleneith club. Where all they do isn’t watch TV.. like really it is gym

    Can’t wait to hear how it all goes but I know you will ace it..

    Ps: seems I’m the only one who doesn’t do audio

  7. Oh dvs, Thank you for the support… I am really looking forward to blogging this journey… the highs and (I am sure there will be lows) the lows… Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

  8. Hay Cat, I never realized what a big deal the “Whole time for myself” thing was, until I started taking little bits of it here and there… and wow, what a sanity saver. It is amazing how we often don’t even know what we need until we get it and “AHA” that is what I have been looking for!!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

  9. Thank you Corli, it is going to be an interesting ride… all the things I think I can’t do, and all the things that I actually can. I am looking forward to it, I love the idea of being a whole lot fitter… just can’t motivate myself to work really hard at it on my own!!! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

  10. Isn’t it the truth Debbie, I am also intrigued at how those small steps add up to really awesome things… a chapter a day and the books roll by, five minutes of duolingo a day for a couple of months really does change your level of understanding!!! Hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend!!!

  11. Thank you Aimee, I am going to be blogging along all the way, so hopefully you will find some little tips and tweaks that you can apply to yourself on the far side of the world… wishing you the best weekend!!!

  12. Ha Christi, this is a huge step for me, really putting myself out there… I am diving in and pursuing a strictly jump in with enthusiasm first and don’t look back and wonder. Do I actually have time for this, can my kids do without me for so many hours a week… and the answer is of course they can… I really have to step up and just do this, for myself and for them. So taking the leap!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

  13. Yup, MrsFF… Ultimately ClubV was the best thing for us, it got us up and outdoors because my kids never really want to see inside a gym again. What started off as a fantastic programme with energetic coaches and great classes turned into a glorified creche and pure boredom for them. And thank you for your encouragement… I am partly terrified and mostly super keen at the opportunity to really get into this and just go for it!!! Really it is a chance in a life time!!! And really I wouldn’t worry about audio books… I think I love them as a hang on from my childhood when my parents would listen to serials on the radio… and we all wanted to know what was next. Give it time, you may find your self keen to get into it later, or you may find it fun to share books with your little lady further down the line. All the best and thanks for stopping by!!!

  14. I just instruct our coaches at Club V that my kids are not allowed to be on the computer and they work them. After a few weeks my kids LOVE it.

    Apparently the coaches told me that many parents fight with the coaches if they tell their darlings they need to exercise. I said well you’ll never have that problem with us.

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