The Halftime Institute surveys their clients about their satisfaction level in various dimensions of their life; ranging from their career, marriage, faith, and so on. “Health” consistently shows up as an area that people are not satisfied with.
Why is it that even though we desire good health, we can’t seem to attain it?
In my experience, one main factor that holds us back from improving our health are thought habits and patterns.
Throughout my 30 years in the health and fitness industry, I‘ve talked to thousands about their journey toward better health and here’s what I’ve seen make the difference between success and failure – Our Thoughts!
So many are going through life without energy, strength and health, which negatively impacts their joy, purpose and even their ability to love and serve others.
The problem for most is not that they don’t have access to healthy food or effective exercise programs, the problem lies within their mind. Their thoughts are keeping them from moving towards better health.
The first thought change we need to make is believing we can succeed.
Too many start a new diet or exercise with negative thoughts because of past failures. They don’t believe God’s promise in Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me) applies to them and their ability to make lasting, healthy changes.
Instead of holding on to the truth of scripture we allow the words, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” to echo in our minds. This way of thinking sabotages our health journey. This way of thinking also puts restrictions on what you believe God can do in your life.
God is Big. He created the world – don’t limit what He can do in your life.
Motives Change Everything
Another important thought change has to do with our “why”. Why do you want to make healthy changes? Take a moment to think about this, be honest with yourself. Do your motives line up with God’s will? Although there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight and having a strong, healthy looking body, our motives need to include more.
If your goals are solely based on the look of your body you will most likely fail. My hope is that your motives include things like – energy to finish all that God has planned for me, strength to go when and where God asks me to, health so I can love and serve others until God takes me home.
Stumbling Doesn’t Lead to Failure
We also need to change our thoughts when it comes to what we believe this journey will look like. Very few decide to make healthy changes and never fall into temptation or mess up a bit. Think about a concert pianist who is learning a new arrangement. They start from the beginning and most likely make a mistake when the notes are configured in a challenging pattern. When their fingers stumble, they don’t quit and walk away convinced they’ll never learn the song. Instead, they continue to practice. They start again and hopefully make it a bit further the next time.
At first, they have to carefully read each note and consciously move each finger, but if they continue to practice, their fingers begin to move effortlessly over the keys, barely having to think about what they are doing.
Your journey will hopefully resemble that of the pianist. When you stumble you won’t start to think you’re an old dog who can’t change. Instead, you know it just means you need to keep on practicing. You start again, believing you will make it a bit further and eventually get to a point where healthy choices require less effort and become your new way of living.
When we believe we can change, when we realize that stumbling doesn’t have to lead to falling, when our desire for energy, strength and health are greater than our desire for comfort, pleasure and self-indulgence, only then will we be able to make lasting, healthy changes.
The Bible tells us that change begins with our thoughts, “Let God change the way you think, then you will know what to do”. (Rom. 12:2)
What thought changes do you need to ask God to help you with so you can break free from past behaviors?