To kick off the new year, I have a great guest post for you about health – which is on many people’s minds right now! Enjoy this post about how to get healthy permanently and the free Bible Verse printable! Happy New Year! <3 Julie
Why you Need a Plan for Health
By Shawn Nikah
There’s never a perfect time to stop doing
dumb unhealthy things & start doing the things you wish you would do. Let’s suppose now is as good a time as any, because it is.
There will never be a better time in your life to start living a healthy life than right now.
Around the time the calendar starts afresh, we make New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes we make them a little more specific & call them goals.
Here’s the problem: Resolutions lose their resolve without sufficient focus & dedication.
It’s just natural. The obstacles you face in achieving your goals are overwhelming & real. If they weren’t, you would have already achieved your goals.
“I need to exercise. I also need to eat healthy food. I should definitely drink more water. I stress out way too much. I should get that under control. I get up tired every day because I can’t sleep soundly. I should probably be sleeping 8 hours.”
When you try to tackle it all at once, you start to drown as if wearing a backpack full of bricks in frigid water. The water is already uncomfortable, & you have to deal with bricks to boot.
This time you feel its different. You’re fired up! You’ve had it! You’re sick & tired of being sick & tired! Good. Channel that energy to break the cycle. Get on a new trajectory that’s focused & sustainable. Get on a path that will give you health for life.
How? By following “The Steadfast Steps”.
The steadfast steps are proven habits that must be present in your life to live wholly & healthfully. These are things that healthy people around the world have done for millennia to achieve spiritual, mental, emotional & physical health.
They break a marathon into bite sized pieces by taking things one step at a time, steadfastly.
What does that mean? That means that true health doesn’t care if you make it into your bikini in time for summer. It doesn’t care if you did a 30 day juice cleanse. It doesn’t matter if you spent 6 months on the Atkins diet & lost 60 pounds.
True health cares what you do over the course of a lifetime. The changes you make are here to stay, not because you want flat abs, but because making these changes will give you the heathy vitality missing in your life.
Tackle these steps one at a time. Focus your energy on one until it has become a permanent part of your lifestyle. Then focus your energy on the next one. Then knock down the next one: health dominoes.
The Steadfast Steps:
- Set a goal: Business management guru, Peter Drucker, said that what gets measured gets managed. As it is in business so it is in our lives. Start measuring your health stats & you will do a better job managing them. The most easily tracked health goal is weight. As weight goes up so does the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, etc. Also measure your waist circumference. Muscle growth through exercise won’t show weight loss, but will show a shrinking waistline. To ground yourself make sure you understand that your health goal is the means, not the end. Steps 2-7 are the end goal, not a certain weight or a certain dress size.
- Find a healthy hobby: This should be something creative not consumptive. Joining a group of poets & writing poetry is a healthy hobby. Watching slam poetry on YouTube is not. A hobby provides emotional margin in your life. It gives you a chance to face fears, accomplish goals, & become part of a supportive & exciting community. Healthy people lead interesting lives.
- Drink 64 ounces of water each day: Really this should be half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 160 pounds you should be drinking 80 ounces of water daily. Incorporating this behavior in your life will make the most drastic changes in your overall health. You will eat less, your metabolism will speed up, & you will lose weight. By the way, also cut out sodas, beers, juices, & any other liquid with sugar in it. Water, coffee, wine, & tea are your friends. So buy a portable water bottle & take it with you everywhere. Note of caution: prepare to frequent the bathroom about twice as often as you used to.
- Exercise at least 15-30 minutes four times a week: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You want to know which exercise plan works the best? Wait for it…the exercise plan you keep doing. It can be walking, jogging, cross fit, or any other thing that comes along and gets you moving. Some work better than others, but the one you stick with works the best. I’m not going to talk about how you don’t have time to do it & how to fit it in your schedule. Admit it, you have the time. You just might not have the will. You have a crisis of priorities, not a time crisis.
- Eliminate F foods & eat real food: What are the F foods? Filled with sugar, Fake foods (has more than 3 ingredients your grandmother wouldn’t recognize), Fast foods, & Franken fats (man-altered fats). Focus on foods raised the way God intended. Whole foods are foods made for man, not made by man.
- A “treat day” or “food sabbath” provides a way to stick with the overall eating plan. This is a day to not worry about the F foods. If you do 90% of your food choices right you are doing really well. Keeping a treat day, or the other option, two treat meals throughout the week, really provides a way to not completely derail yourself. It allows you to set a boundary & work towards respecting it. This is about progress, not perfection. Getting to a point where you can eat healthfully 90% of the time might take a month. If you are like I was, it will take a year or more. Progress, not perfection.
- Note: You will need to make a weekly meal plan for the first 12 weeks to make any progress in respecting your boundaries. Sit down, write out what you are going to have for each meal, what you are going to snack on, & when you are going to eat out. This brings organization to your eating & purchasing.
- Rest, Request, & Reflect: Although a great focus has been placed on nutrition & physical activity up to this point, changes in physical health are important to the extent that they lead to a more whole person. Keeping the physical body healthy allows for the greatest fulfillment of emotional & spiritual health. A healthy emotional & spiritual life are the only way to keeping your physical body healthy for the long haul.
- Rest- Sleep (6.5-8.5 hours a night) & Sabbath (a day of rest each week) are the two ways we rest. Sleep, a daily activity, illustrates that we have limits & are finite beings. We don’t have the capacity to keep going & going like the Energizer bunny. The Sabbath is a weekly practice God created for us.
- Request– So many people walk around in weakness, addiction, & shame because they are too scared to ask for forgiveness from God. Others do so because they are unwilling to accept forgiveness from others or grant forgiveness to someone that hurt them. Neither perpetual guilt nor perpetual bitterness works.
- Reflect– In addition to resting & requesting, we need to spend dedicated time reflecting. The act of slowing down & examining brings clarity to life. The three best ways to practice reflection are to pray, write, & meditate on a daily basis. Infuse this practice with gratitude. The difference between the truly rich & the truly poor can be summed up in the difference in their levels of gratitude. If you want to be instantly more attractive to people, show gratitude.
- Live a life of purpose: You are a more potent vessel when you are mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually sharp. Health for life, but more importantly, health for purpose.
There is much written in the Bible on being good stewards with the resources we have been given. One of these resources is doing what we can to ensure we have a healthy body.
Check out this free printable that shows what God says about this topic! This can be useful for your own health goals & for your homeschool classroom as you review the reasons to engage in P.E. Visit Shawn’s website to learn more.
Is focusing on your health one of your goals this year?
Let me know in the comments!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions regarding your health?
Let me know in the comments!