One Day Just for You

One daOne Dayy. Twenty-four hours. One thousand, four hundred and forty minutes. Eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds. That's all you need to take the first big step in making changes that will make you healthier, fitter and happier, and change your life for the better.

We all have things we'd like to change or improve. It may be losing weight, quitting smoking or cutting down on alcohol consumption. It may be finding a better job or a better relationship. It may be incorporating exercise and healthy eating into your lifestyle.

Making a major change can be intimidating, but setting aside a single day to test drive those changes can be very rewarding and kick start you onto a healthier, happier life. You won't lose twenty pounds or run a marathon, but you'll be moving in the right direction.

All you need is a plan!

Make a Plan

Don't start tomorrow. If you do, you're setting yourself up for failure.Your Notebook

Set a date in the near future. Circle it on your calendar. Place sticky notes on your refrigerator, computer and bathroom mirror. It is going to be your day. Choose a date when you are not working. It is important to change your routine as much as possible and that is difficult in a scheduled work day. Approach your day with excitement and anticipation. Let your friends and family know what you are doing. Buy a new piece of clothing or jewelry to wear on your day.

Buy a small notebook. Write down exactly what you want to change for one day. Do you want to become a non-smoker? Do you want to give up junk food or television for one day?

Be specific. Write it down and refer to the notebook often as you approach your chosen day. Do some research. There are plenty of books on the market that detail the benefits of quitting smoking, curtailing drinking, changing your diet or increasing your level of  daily exercise.

Then write down what a typical day would be like for you. For example if you have chosen a Saturday, write down your normal routine for that day. Then detail how each of those activities is a stimulus for the thing you want to stop doing or interferes with something you want to start doing.

For Example:

 11:00 am coffee = first cigarette

 Tired from staying out late.

01:00 pm lay on couch, watch tv and eat chips

09:00 pm go out with friends, drink too much

Now make a plan for how you will spend the day, making sure you set up an agenda that is free from all the triggers that control the behaviors you want to stop.

Get a good sleep the night before your chosen day, so you have the energy to keep busy and active.

List the activities you plan to do. Try something new, and break out of a rut. Skip the morning coffee if you associate it with smoking. Plan to take a course, go for a walk, or explore a new area of your city instead of laying on the couch. Read a good book or enjoy a quiet dinner with a friend instead of going out to the clubs.

It's just one day. You can do it!

Today is the Day

Your mantra for today is "It's just one day. I can do it!"It's Your Day

Chances are you'll be up for about 16 hours, but it's O.K. to sleep late and go to bed early on your day.

Get your notebook ready. When you're tempted to do the thing you've promised to avoid or you're procrastinating about doing something on your activity list, make a note in your notebook.

What time is it? How are you feeling? Avoid the temptation. Ten minutes later write down how you are feeling once again.

It's just one day. I can do it.

Dying to reach for that bag of chips? Get out of the kitchen. Don't feel like going for the walk you put on your agenda? Get up and get moving.

It's just one day. I can do it.

Use the notebook to write down how you feel after each of the activities you put on the agenda.  How did you feel after the walk or dance lesson? How did you feel after replacing that burger and shake with salmon and vegetables?

Remember that feeling good is good and feeling bad is good.

You may feel great after getting some physical exercise. You may feel bad if you're not smoking and your body is going through nicotine withdrawal. Know what to expect and remember it's all part of the healing process.

It's just one day. I can do it.

The hours are passing. Don't forget you can have that burger tomorrow. You can have that smoke tomorrow. You can have that drink tomorrow, but today is your day.

Don't be surprised to find a little sabotage from your friends and family. By early evening your friends may be calling or texting you to come out the evening. Give them a polite , but firm NO. The clubs will still be there tomorrow. The drinks will be there tomorrow. Mr. or Ms. Right will be there tomorrow. Today is your day.

It's just one day. I can do it.

The Morning After

When you wake up in the morning, it's time to take stock.A New Day(102324)

How are you feeling?  Write it down in your notebook.

There is a great sense of pride and empowerment in meeting your goal. If you failed, don't beat yourself up. Read through the notes you took yesterday and plan another day. Your notes will be an invaluable guide in determining the triggers and pressures that influenced your behavior.

If you were successful, ask yourself if you can go another day.  Can you make a committment to do it once a week or even once a month? Concentrate on the things that made you feel good.

It was just one day, but no matter what the outcome was, you've made great strides in making a change for the better. That's 24 hours well spent.

A Word of Caution

Do not try the 24 hour plan if you have a serious addiction. Withdrawal can be a painful and sometimes life threatening process.

Consult your doctor.