Updated: Apr 20, 2020
What have you done today to make you feel proud? The lyrics sung by Heather Small back in the day are an excellent philosophy to live your life by.
For me, what she was getting at isn’t that we all need to be moving mountains every single day. But I think she would be a pretty big fan of the concept of a ‘daily difference’.
What is a ‘daily difference’?
The concept of a daily difference is that making small changes to your life every single day can build up, meaning you do, in the fullness of time, end up moving that mountain. Or several mountains, come to that.
A daily difference can be put into practice in absolutely any aspect of your life, whatever it is you’re trying to work on or achieve. Whether you’re focusing on your career or your relationships, taking the slow and steady approach might not mean you’ll win the race, but it will mean you reach your goal.
But, for the purpose of this post, I’m going to focus on the daily differences that you can make to your eating habits and nutrition, to your fitness and to your mindset surrounding health and exercise.
Looking at it this way will mean that rather than being overwhelmed by a goal or challenge that you’re facing, you can take it in baby steps but continually move forward, sustaining a steady momentum. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back and marvelling over how far you’ve come.
Are you fed up with setting yourself unattainable goals and never actually making any progress towards them? Does this sound like something you could get on board with?
Read on for a few suggestions of small changes that you could make in each of these three areas that will get you inspired to start making your daily difference, today.
5 small changes to make for your nutrition
1. Buy a reusable water bottle
The general consensus is that we should be trying to drink about two litres of water a day. If you think or know that you’re currently falling short of that goal, then a small change you could make would be to go out and buy yourself a nice new reusable water bottle.
Make that water bottle’s home your favourite hand bag, popping it on your desk or wherever’s best during the day to keep it in your eye line, and just keep sipping away.
2. Eat your veg first
Load your plate high with greens, and then make sure you eat them first rather than leaving them until last. Filling up on vegetables means that you might well end up eating less of the other, potentially less healthy components of the meal.
3. Try a new recipe
This isn’t something you’ll be able to do every day, obviously, but why not choose one day a week when the change you make is trying out a new, healthy, veg-heavy recipe? Or, challenge yourself to create a healthier version of a recipe you already love.
4. Make a shopping list
You might well already do this, but if you’re the type that just wonders around a supermarket randomly throwing things in your trolley, make today the day that you actually plan out meals for the week and write a list.
You’ll be less tempted by things you happen to spot on the shelves, and probably get more value for your money. Once you’ve done it once and reaped the benefits, you’ll be likely to make it a habit.
5. Discover your new favourite take-out place
Do you have a go-to place you order from when there’s no food in the house? Do they know your order by heart? Why not make your daily difference trying somewhere new that offers healthier food choices, that are just as delicious?
5 Small changes to make for your fitness
1. Get into bed just half an hour earlier
It’s simple. Getting more sleep means you’ll have more energy and be more likely to get out there and exercise.
2. Mix up your way of getting to work
However you get to and from your place of work, make your daily difference incorporating some, or more, exercise into your commute. Do you drive? Park further away than usual so you have to stretch your legs. Public transport? Get off one stop early. Walk or cycle? Take a new, slightly longer route. Bonus points if there’s a hill involved.
3. Swap your catch-up over lunch for a catch-up walk
If you normally meet a friend for food or drinks, then suggest that you do something active instead. Take a walk in the park, or on the beach. Book a badminton court. Go for a bike ride and take a healthy picnic with you. Use your imagination to help you break free from your routine.
4. Take the stairs
This one might seem blindingly obvious, but if you’re on auto-pilot then you often just hop in the lift or on the escalator without even thinking twice. Make your daily difference to consciously choose the stairs wherever you go, all day long.
5. Explore your holiday destination on foot
It’s not just in your daily life that small changes can make a big difference. You can make changes to the way you’d normally behave on holiday, too. If you’re one for lazy beach holidays or spend the whole trip in a rental car, there’s plenty of room for more activity. The daily difference could be when you’re planning the trip, choosing a city that you can easily explore on foot, or when you’re actually there, choosing a long, scenic walk rather than a sedentary activity. Or both!
5 Small changes to make for your mindset
1. Download Headspace
Download this user-friendly meditation app, and give their free trial a go. This is a fantastic way to get into meditation, which over time could mean a big change to your mindset.
2. Buy yourself an inspirational book or audiobook
There’s no shortage of incredible memoirs out there at the moment. Treat yourself to a new book that you know will get you in the right mindset, or have the author read it to you instead.
3. Stop telling yourself or others how busy you are
Have you ever spent an entire day telling yourself and anyone that will listen just how busy you are, and then got to the end of it and realised you’ve been so busy being busy, you’ve achieved precisely nothing? Decide to spend a day focusing on making the most of your time rather than on how much you’ve got to achieve.
4. Ask for help
Struggling? Make the way you do things differently today to reach out to a friend, family member or colleague and ask for a helping hand. You’ll be surprised how well they respond, and it will take a load off your shoulders.
5. When your mind is talking you down, respond with positive affirmations
Your promise to yourself for the day could be too, whenever you catch your mind telling you what you’re not and focusing on all the things you’ve done wrong, answer back affirming exactly what you are. You are someone who’s making positive food choices every day. You are someone whose fitness levels are improving every day.
You’re pretty damn awesome, and don’t let your mind tell you otherwise.
Are you ready to get started? Well, there’s no time like the present.
Leave a comment letting me know what your daily difference for today is going to be.