Have you ever read fitness or weight loss success stories in a magazine and noticed that what each person is most thrilled about is how great they feel? They are happy to lose the weight of course, yet they discover it isn’t how much they lost that makes them feel so good. What is most exciting is having energy, being able to do more things, gaining self-confidence, and feeling more alive and free.

You forget how much it matters to feel good when you take it for granted or it slowly slips away. It is when you get it back again that you realize it is the key to having a good life and to happiness. When you feel good again, you feel invincible and invigorated. You want to stretch yourself to do more and fully participate in what has meaning to you.

When you don’t feel good, you don’t have that spark in your life. Something is missing, you aren’t upbeat, you don’t have the energy, and everything seems a bit harder. You may even feel trapped. Do these words capture what it’s like for you when you aren’t feeling so well?

It can be hard to feel inspired to do anything about it when you are feeling poorly or when the effort seems too overwhelming. Yet the longer you do nothing, you worse you likely feel. It’s a paradox that the less energy you use the less you have, and the more you expend the more you have. Yet even a small amount of movement, like taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or walking for 10 minutes, can give you more energy, reduce your tiredness and generate further interest in being active.

Small changes in your lifestyle are all it takes to start feeling energized, replenished and motivated. These can be getting a bit more sleep, getting outside for fresh air, finding 5-10 minutes to yourself, being active with family or friends, eating breakfast, eating when you get hungry and stopping when you start feeling full, having fresh flowers, or replacing some TV time with a more engaging activity. You may have your own ideas to add to this list. Any one of these can have a positive impact on how you feel, and none of them take much time or preparation.

What stops most people from making lifestyle changes is often the belief that the change has to be major and final, like a commitment to walking everyday for 30 minutes, getting to bed at 9:30 each night during the week, or no more TV. These types of changes are likely to be too rigid, radical and unrealistic. As important, they probably won’t feel good to do. Within a few days – or even after the first day – you will find yourself deciding it is too much or too hard to do, and that would be the end of trying.

If something doesn’t feel good right from the start, then it probably isn’t the right thing to do and it certainly won’t keep you motivated to stick with the change. Any change in your routine is hard enough, so you want to pick something that doesn’t take much effort at first and is appealing. You want to be inspired to take that first step, not dread it. It is perfectly okay to start off with a very small change or with something very easy. Once you give that a try, you may be so encouraged by your ability to do it, that you will want to do a bit more. Soon you will be surprising yourself by how much you are doing and how much better you feel.

You may even get to the point you are being active nearly everyday for about half an hour or more, and it won’t feel like a stretch or a burden. Or you may be choosing to eat healthier foods most of the time, because you find them more satisfying and energizing. It will feel easy to you to do these things, because of how good it feels, how much you look forward to it, and the discovery you miss not doing it. You won’t have to work at staying motivated if you are inspired by the things you pick to do.

Consider one small lifestyle change that you feel inspired to try. Once you do it for a week or two, pay attention to how you feel. Notice that the better you feel, the more you want to keep doing it.

Author's Bio: 

Alice Greene is America's Healthy Lifestyle Coach, author and speaker. She is an expert on helping people succeed at maintaining weight loss, getting eating under control, and enjoying an active lifestyle for lifelong fitness.

Alice is author of Inspired to Feel Good: Making healthy and fit choices so rewarding and liberating you never want to stop. She wrote Feel Great in Your Body and the series of Feeling Great guides to getting fit, eating healthier, reducing stress and reducing blood sugars. She also co-wrote Wake Up Women: By Happy, Healthy & Wealthy and Living Free with Type 2 Diabetes. Alice is the former co-host of Living Your Personal Best talk radio show that featured healthy lifestyle success stories.

Learn how to finally get fit, eat healthier and feel good as a way of life that is easy to maintain by choice instead of by obligation. Get 2 chapters of her latest book as well as her free e-book on the Secrets to Creating a Love for Fitness at www.feelyourpersonalbest.com.