You may recall, just a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Top 10 Healthy Changes for 2015. Based on the comments I received, I know many of you started making those changes and are doing your best to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Kudos to you! I get excited every single time I hear about these new commitments. However, I also know, just a few weeks into your commitment to better health, that you may be facing the reality that this is hard work. And you know what? You’re right. It is hard work and you are not alone in your struggle. So hang in there and let me encourage you today.
John begins the book of 3 John with this statement: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health” (3 John 2). Why do you think John begins this way? I looked in the commentary of my study Bible and found these words: “God is concerned for both your body and your soul. As a responsible Christian, you should neither neglect nor indulge yourself but care for your physical needs and discipline your body so that you are at your best for God’s service”
If John, who walked side by side with Jesus for years, makes it clear that physical health is important, it is something we too should care about. The world makes us believe it’s important so we can look a certain way, but I completely agree with my commentary when it states we need to care for our body “so that you are at your best for God’s service”
My hope is you are already onboard when it comes to believing exercise and eating healthy should be part of the Christian walk. However, as I said, I know it is a struggle with living a consistently healthy lifestyle.
Why Do We Struggle to Do What We Know We Should?
First, I’m going to let you off the hook a bit by quoting the Apostle Paul. (I’m not one to typically let people off the hook so appreciate this moment.) “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” Paul, who is undoubtedly one of the most Christ-like people to walk the earth, struggled to do what is right. We are all flawed and struggle to do what we should, BUT we also have other verses that give us the confidence in our journey to better health.
You have most likely read these two verses, but do you believe they are true of your journey towards better health?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
If you want to succeed, it begins with your thoughts. I love how Henry Ford puts it, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Do you believe, with God’s help, you can achieve a strong, fit, energized body? Do you believe you can exercise and eat healthy consistently?
When your thoughts are in the right place, the next step is to set goals. Maybe you already did this on January 1st, but if you are like most, you came out of the gates strong, but weeks later you’ve got a list of reasons why you couldn’t reach those goals.
Goals can be very helpful, but too often, we set the wrong type of goals when it comes to our health. I recommend “action” goals rather than “results” goals. Instead of “I will lose 5 lbs. in 2 weeks.” (results oriented) set an action goal like “I will exercise for at least 20 minutes 4 days this week.” or “I will keep my added sugar to under 24 grams at least 5 days this week”
Changing the type of goal could have a huge impact on your success. When we set a results goal, we might do everything right but not meet our goal. We exercise and eat healthy but we don’t lose 5 lbs. We feel like we have failed and often give up.
I encourage you to set faith, fitness and food goals because all three are critical to your health.
As an example, here are my weekly goals:
- Faith: I will write down 2 verses that encourage me to take proper care of my body. I will post them where I will see them often.
- Fitness: I will exercise 6 days this week for at least 45 min
- Food: I will eat less than 3 servings of white flour products this week
Right now, can you take a moment to write down faith, fitness and food goals? Make sure they are action oriented and realistic! Is there someone you could share your goals with who could check in with you in a week? Better yet, is there someone you could ask to join you as you try and make healthy changes? We increase our odds of succeeding when we do it with others.
I know you want to be your best for God’s service. Isn’t it time you make your health a priority?
If you need help on your journey to better health, check out Faithful Workouts’ Free f3 Plan. Exercise videos, menu plans, cookbook, cooking classes, and inspirational articles are all included.
The Halftime Institute seeks to serve you in a very unique way because we know on this journey toward second half significance it is tough to do it alone. Let us help you. To learn more, call us at 855-2ND-HALF or visit www.halftimeinstitute.org.