Do One Simple Thing at a Time for Massive Results


There are two major types of people seeking help:

  1. Those who jump in with both feet to feel better as quickly as possible.
  2. Those who take an incremental approach. They do one thing at a time, then another, and another.

This is what Nancy, from Oxford, England, did. She was depressed, unmotivated, anxious, obese, and had arthritis. She found one of my books in a used bookstore in Oxford and loved it. But she knew she could never do everything at once, so she decided to start with one simple strategy at a time.

There are two major types of people seeking help: (1) Those who jump in with both feet to feel better as quickly as possible. (2) Those who take an incremental approach. Click To Tweet

She began by drinking more water; her energy level went up. Then she added a multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D; she was able to focus better. Those two changes led her to add exercise to her routine—walking, dancing, and playing table tennis, which boosted her mood. The noticeable progress motivated her to overhaul her eating habits; she began to lose pounds.

Her approach was to eat healthy foods first, so she would have no room for anything unhealthy. She felt so good that she tackled new learning next. She enrolled in classes to learn foreign languages and how to play the guitar. Her life totally changed. Her energy, mood, and memory were remarkably better; she lost 70 pounds and was pain-free.

The last step in her journey was to advocate for her children to take brain health seriously. She knew that if she kept herself healthy as long as possible, she was also helping her children.

I met Nancy when she came to Amen Clinics for a brain scan in celebration of her 83rd birthday. See below for typical 80- to 90-year-old scans. Nancy’s scan looked like someone in her 40s! Her brain was healthy and strong.


SPECT scan



When she saw it, she cried, because she was so happy, knowing it would have looked much worse just a year earlier. Nancy changed the trajectory of the rest of her life . . . and you can too. Just decide if the best approach for yourself is fast or slow.

Today’s Practice: What is one small step you can start today from Nancy’s list above? Are you more likely to succeed on a fast track or with an incremental approach?

In Change Your Brain Every Day, psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist Daniel Amen, MD, draws on over 40 years of clinical practice with tens of thousands of patients to give you the most effective daily habits he has seen that can help you improve your brain, master your mind, boost your memory, and make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to those you love.

If you want to join the tens of thousands of patients at Amen Clinics who have already learned how to change their brain every day and have a better life, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.  


  1. Thank you for such an encouraging and motivational article. Living proof that “You are what you eat”…drink and do holds true.

    Comment by Maria — February 8, 2023 @ 4:07 AM

  2. I absolutely loved this article! It’s extremely encouraging and expresses effective adaptations and changes are truly doable. I applaud Nancy for emphasizing the importance of brain health to her children. Thank you, Dr. amen and team for providing all people with such life changing information. Your work is valued and sincerely appreciated.

    Comment by Belinda — February 8, 2023 @ 4:13 AM

  3. This article gives so much hope. I have Chronic anxiety and poor brain health but am going to start today. one step at a time to adopt good brain habits, exercise and cut sugar to a minimum are my goals for today.

    Comment by mary ann — February 15, 2023 @ 5:34 AM

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