I came up with the idea to create the 7 Baby Steps after reading about Dave Ramsey’s version for financial freedom. I think the foundations of each step can be applied towards health as well, so here are my 7 Baby Steps for optimal health.
These 7 steps will teach you how to take control of your health, eliminate all of your health issues, and create optimal fitness and health for the rest of your life. It is important that you follow these steps in their exact order and don’t move on until you’ve mastered the previous steps.
Don’t be fooled by the name. These are Baby Steps, but they require time and effort to fully be mastered.
Baby Step 1: Create your Anchor
Your anchor is the thing that will hold you steady throughout the turbulent waters of your fitness journey. We all know that life is unpredictable and challenges will be thrown our way as we work towards our goals. You anchor is an activity you will do daily to keep you connected to your path towards a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to make sure your anchor is something you can do every single day no matter what. No matter how shitty your day, how far off the wagon you fall, how badly you indulge, or what emotional triggers you receive, you can still do this ONE THING to let yourself know you’re still in control.
It can be 5 deep breaths, repeating a mantra in the mirror, drinking a glass of water, doing 10 squats, a few minutes of meditation or yoga. Whatever it is there should be no limitations to when or where you do it. Meaning, if you have to do it at 11:30pm with your partner or child sleeping right beside you, you can still complete your anchor each day.
Even if you miss doing your anchor one day, this simple action is all it takes to get right back on track!
Baby Step 2: Eliminate the crap from your diet
It’s time to get rid of all the shit food that does your body more harm than good. No kidding yourself here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Many people say they don’t know how to eat healthy, but everyone knows what crap they shouldn’t be eating. We’re talking big picture here too, not micronutrients. Chips, soda, donuts, whatever.
First step is to list all the crap you eat. Absolutely everything, big and small. Then put it in order of frequency consumed from least often to most often.
Start the elimination with the “least often” item on for 2 weeks. Once you have 2 full weeks without eating the item at all, work your way down the list 2 weeks at a time. The momentum and will power you build from the “easier” items will give you strength as you start to get to you most frequent indulgences. Keep going until you eliminated everything on your entire list.
Baby Step 3: Build a fitness “buffer”
Start an exercise program for at least 3 days per week to build up a foundation of fitness.
When most people get sick, they usually turn to medicine to make them “not sick”. Sickness just happens one day and there’s not much protection to prevent it from happening. But what if there was a better option?
Well there is, it’s called fitness. Building up a foundation of strength and conditioning, also known as fitness, is a much better way to deal with health.
Being fit means that before you ever get sick, you have to be healthy first. This means things like having low energy, indigestion, or a loss of mental clarity become warning signs before your body really breaks down and gets sick.
Getting fit along side Baby Step 2 will make your days of being sick few and far between.
Baby Step 4: Invest in a home gym
It’s time to start thinking long term. Going for walks, hiring a personal trainer, even having a gym membership are not truly long term solutions. They can be part of your plan, but to truly build long-term health you need to have full control. This means not being limited by anything outside of your own self-discipline to take action.
A home gym means you don’t depend on the weather, someone else’s schedule, or another facilities hours. You can take action on your fitness any time you want. And yes, this also means portable options for when you travel.
My suggestions for first items are a yoga mat, resistance bands, a suspension system like TRX or rings, and dumbbells. Those will give you the ability to do anything you need.
Baby Step 5: Include your children
You now have complete control over your own health, now it’s time to pass it on to future generations. Make sure your children are included in every health decision you make. From meal planning to grocery shopping, and from yoga practices to workouts. Let them learn and experience what it takes to have health as a constant part of their lives.
If done right, they have mastered the first 3 baby steps before they ever leave the house.
Baby Step 6: Master you health
It’s time to go deep. Even with all of the steps you’ve taken above, there may be some lingering “issues” in your body. Perhaps you have indigestion issues or allergies, maybe you still get energy crashes or lose focus, maybe you have thyroid or hormone imbalances, maybe you have periods of anxiety or depression, or maybe you still have a nagging shoulder, knee or back issue.
With the strong foundation you’ve now built, it’s time to go all the way and get 100% control of your health. Do research, get educated, talk to experts, get your body tested, or even take specialty courses. Become a master of your own body and eliminate all “minor” issues that might still be there.
Baby Step 7: Inspire and empower others
By the time you get to this step it has probably started naturally. People can’t help but want to know what others are doing to be successful. Now that you’ve mastered your body and health, others in your life can benefit greatly from your knowledge and experience.
It is not your job to teach them nor can you force your values on them. However, leading by example is one of the most powerful things you can do. If others reach out to you in curiosity, become a source of strength to guide them on their own journey.
There you have it, the 7 Baby Steps to take control of your health. I recommend doing the steps in order and slowly building your momentum. Steps can be done concurrently but be honest with how much you can take on.
True mastery of these steps will take years, but they’ll also last forever.