When we posted a new trick for shoehorning healthy habits into your schedule, LinkedIn lit up with several comments from business owners going to heroic lengths to stay fit.

Scheduling your life to accommodate good health can be a challenge for many. But why does it have to be difficult?

Trevor Gibbs, a former engineer turned health blogger, says it doesn't. Simple but effective interventions are often overlooked, especially by those who feel a need for bigger change. People can "build the movement habits first, and look for opportunities to move, stretch, and be mobile," he says. From there, he offers some useful tips to get started:

  • Park at least five minutes away from the office so you'll walk more
  • Use the stairs instead of elevators
  • Set up a standing workstation

"Oh please," you might be thinking, "these small things might be decent first steps, but they're hardly going to make a dent in my health." But Gibbs isn't the only person saying little changes can have big impacts. The iDoneThis blog recently offered more examples from some big names in business.

Ryan Hoover, a grown-up who knows he should take his vitamins but somehow always forgets, is one of them. "I made a small change," he explains in a post. "I took the jar out of the cupboard and placed it on the countertop. Since then, I haven’t missed a day of taking my vitamins."

Again: Tiny change, big impact.

Hoover notes how other entrepreneurs are taking small steps toward big change:

  • Buffer’s Leo Widrich sets gym clothes on top of his alarm clock so he's forced to move around. 
  • Google increases employees' water consumption by rearranging the fridge--Googlers go for the visible water that's within arm's reach.
  • Simplicity author Leo Babauta says flossing-challenged people should only do one tooth per night.

These small behavior tweaks won't disprove the fact that many of us are in need of a major lifestyle change. But the key point still stands: Don't overlook simple but effective changes because you're searching for a silver bullet.

What small change can you make today?

Published on: May 14, 2013