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The Domino Effect

May 13, 2016

We have all been there.  We have all at one point in time been in a slump of some sort.  Either with physical activity, eating poorly, or even in motivation to get basic things done.  There are many reasons we find ourselves lacking motivation to make healthy choices.  I use the term healthy because even when making choices about how we respond to events, comments, or situations, we are setting a tone for emotional health, physical health, and our basic well being.

The term domino effect is defined by Merriam- Webster  as a situation in which one event causes a series of similar events to happen one after another.  As soon as we make a decision to act or react,  a series of events are put in motion.  Last year, I began referring to my exercise and diet as my domino effect.  I had not been running or exercising due to a leg injury, poor scheduling, and overall stress of life and new circumstances.  I was tired of being tired and out of shape.  One day I made the decision to attend physical therapy and force myself to do the exercises and take the time to get better.  Ryan at Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy set me up with a workout plan to focus on my injury and build strength.  He promised me if I did the work, the injury would improve.  IF I DID THE WORK, is key to the equation.  I can not get results if I’m not willing to start the process.  This was my first domino push.  After starting the PT program, I became more motivated to invest in ME!  The purpose to attend PT was to be able to run again pain free.  The domino effect had begun.   I started slow, 1-2 miles and even with stretching breaks to relieve the pain.  But the slow, small runs gave me my second domino.

After making the effort to start making changes, my attitude slowly changed.  My runs became more frequent and my food choices more healthy.  I started climbing out of my stinky and depressing rut that I had been in for over a year.  I decided to stop drinking alcohol, I went to bed earlier, I slept better, I woke up earlier and ran first thing before the rest of the family was awake (this one was the hardest).  It was not always easy to keep the dominoes in motion!  However, after I started taking care of ME, this decision resulted in a better mommy, wife, and happier me.  The entire family felt the effect of my choices.  The kids were happier, my marriage was improving, and our day-to-day was overall smoother.

Once we take the effort to give the first domino a push, and it doesn’t take much to knock over the first one, the trickle result can be amazing.  There will be bumps along the way, failures, and twist and turns.  However, a simple change can be so powerful!


This theory isn’t just about exercise or diet.  It’s about attitude.  Maybe you have the desire to work on your spiritual or mental health.  Take the time to do something little each day, prayer or meditation, reading something uplifting, or listening to your favorite motivational podcast.  These actions will lead to positive thoughts during your day.

If your desire is more about work or career achievements, pick one thing you can do to improve your performance.  Set the platform to success by starting with the little things you can control and see return on your investment.  It all starts with one domino push!

This list of small and simple ideas can help you to start your domino effect:

  1. Choose to perform one exercise activity a day.  It can be small and simple like going for a walk around your neighborhood, taking the stairs at work, doing squats while waiting for the copy machine.
  2. Choose to make one diet change.  Give up soda or decrease your sugar consumption, have a water consumption goal, decide to eat 5 servings of veggies/fruits a day.  Don’t give everything up at once, this is unrealistic.
  3. Choose to take 5-10 minutes a day to meditate or have “alone time” to think, pray, journal, or read something inspiring.  This will improve your focus and motivation.


I hope you will find some motivation in this post and realize that we all can make small changes that add up to big results!  We all have different goals and my first domino will be different than yours.  But we all have to take the first step and knock one down!  Comment and share ideas about what you have done to start your domino effect.

From → Motivation

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Real. Mindful. Nourishing.

Kaiesha Stewart

Lifestyle, Style & Beauty

Straight Talking Fitness

A site dedicated to helping you become stronger across the board; physically, mentally and emotionally.

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