Let’s be honest. It takes courage and mental fortitude to make lifestyle changes. Work, disappointments, family responsibilities – they can beat us up pretty badly.

Know how to get your courage back? Small victories.

Don’t make huge proclamations with unrealistic goals that will disappoint you when they don’t quite work out. Let’s simplify this process by setting small goals where you are confident that you can succeed. Goals that you can accomplish in 10-21 days.

For example, I had a client who drank 2-3 large glasses of sweet tea or soda each day. (Sweet tea is really the bane of our existence here in the south – it’s everywhere!) So I suggested he cut out one glass per day for 10 days, and then one additional glass for the next two sets of 10 days. He knew he was capable of it, and within a month, he had kicked the habit. That’s awesome!

Victories can help your courage grow. How can we help you achieve a small victory that you can build on?

Inspiration

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”–African proverb

Perspiration

If you spend regular workout time outside, be smart and safe as the daylight hours start to shrink in the fall. This is especially important if you run or walk where there is considerable traffic.

Wear a reflective vest – carry a flashlight – bicyclists can add a light to your helmet and bicycle.

Be safe out there!

Nutrition

A yummy autumn soup – butternut squash soup! 

4 pounds whole butternut squash, about 2 medium, halved lengthwise and seeds removed

2 TB unsalted butter

1/2 medium yellow onion

8 sage leaves

2-1/2 cups chicken or veg broth

2-1/2 cups water

1/3 cup heavy cream

Salt/pepper

Roast the squash pieces on a baking sheet cut-side up. Brush melted butter and season with salt/pepper. Roast about 1 hour, or until knife tender. Remove from oven. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a saucepan.

Cut onion into medium dice and add to saucepan with 1TB melted buter. Add sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add broth, water, salt and pepper to taste, combine and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring occasionally about 15 minutes until flavors meld.

Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Use a tabletop blender or immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Garnish with some toasted pumpkin seeds for some extra protein.

Variation: Add a diced apple in with the onion.

Just for this week

If you sit a lot at work during the week, watching TV on weekends, make yourself get up each hour for 2-5 minutes and walk around. Over the course of a week, you can add up to an hour of extra activity that will add a lot to your health goals and help with stress reduction.