2018 – How did you sneak up on me and where in the world did 2017 go?
Last year at this time I was introducing the New Year, New You challenge. With this challenge came opportunities for women to set goals and make 2017 the year of health.
What a pure blessing it has been to walk with women through their health journey – to see the joy that comes from reaching goals and to feel the sadness and disappointment that comes when life happens, distracting them from making their health goals a priority.
As I’ve walked with these amazing women, I have discovered foundational truths in getting healthy that often run counter to our engrained cultural beliefs.
Truths such as having an opportunistic mindset, giving yourself grace and restarts every moment of every day when you miss the mark to make positive choices, reducing commitments and responsibilities that may distract you from making you and your health goals priority, using an accountability and support partner, and using God’s word as foundation truths to live your life on.
It is these truths that I believe so strongly in that I now run my business on!
It is these truths that I want you to embrace so that you too can find success in becoming a healthier version of yourself!
Getting Healthy Starts on the Inside
Most people wishing to change a health habit set goals such as “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to exercise more.” Their focus is on an external area in need of change.
With this approach, there is a belief that personal strength, willpower, and know-how is all that is needed to achieve goals and to establish new health habits.
And yet, according to Statistic Brain, 42% of people who make a New Year’s Resolution “never succeed and fail on their resolution each year.”
Why the disconnect?
It has been my experience that the reason goals are not accomplished comes down to these factors: Your mindset, your priorities and tasks in life, the lack of support and accountability, and not living your life based on biblical truth.
Today’s blog post, will talk solely about developing an opportunistic mindset. Over the course of the next several weeks, there will be individual posts about giving yourself grace and fresh restarts throughout your day, and reducing your priorities and task that hinder your ability to make you and your health a priority.
Additional posts will talk about finding an accountability partner to walk with you on your health journey and to start living your life based on biblical truth.
Today, let’s talk about mindset.
Developing An Opportunistic Mindset
Mindset is a fancy word for talking about your beliefs. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologists from Stanford University defines mindset as “a belief that biases how you think, feel, and act.” She further talks about how your mindset is your “filter” for how you see the world.
To put it another way, what you think and believe, influences your emotions. These emotions then directly impact how you act and the choices you make.
Let’s look at an example. The limiting belief I hear almost often is: “My life is simply too crazy. I will wait to start working on my goals and making me a priority when life slows down.”
Does this sound familiar? I know I have thought and said this myself in years past. After all, this belief is the reason New Years Resolutions exist in the first place!
While this belief is a legitimate hinderance, this single thought can have such a negative spiral affect on our goals and health – now and into the future.
Let’s take a look how this might negatively affect you.
As you look at your schedule, you determine that life is simply too crazy right now for you to start making yourself a priority.
This belief filters into your emotions and you feel disappointment, resentment, anger, and frustration. You may even feel a loss of hope if this belief perpetuates itself over and over again.
Can you guess what the ending result of these beliefs and emotions are? You guessed it – lots of decisions each day to further sabotage your health; “I’ll wait until life slows down to stop eating sweets.” “It’s either all or nothing. I might as well not care right now.”
As you can see, this one belief can result in a significant negative spiral and one that is hard to recover from. Getting healthy will not happen with this mindset!
But, what if, your belief looked like this: “Yes, life is crazy busy (because when is it not?)! But, I am in control and I will make small choices count.”
This belief instantly gives you a sense of hope and encouragement, while resonating confidence.
When your mindset looks this way, you begin looking at all the decisions you have throughout the day as opportunities to make small improvements; “Yes, I can drink 1 more glass of water.” “Sure, saying ‘no’ to additional requests of my time is hard to do, but I can do it.” And, “I have one minute in my day. That’s just enough time to do a 30 second plank and 10 push-ups. Something is always better than nothing!”
Can you see how having an opportunistic mindset elicits affirmative emotions, with positive actions to follow?
It is not too late to change your mindset from an impossible to possible. This mindset shift starts with God.
As one who believes from the bottom of her heart that God is in control of every situation, it only seems fitting to ask for God’s help in changing how you think.
Romans 12:2 says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Having an opportunistic mindset does not come natural for many people. In fact, many people have lived their entire lives with a mindset that believes that success and change is not possible – especially for them.
Because hindering mindsets are so engrained, it is essential that we turn our gaze upward – every.single.day – asking God to transform how we think and to have Him open our eyes to the hundreds of opportunities we have to make good choices.
It is my suggestion that you begin your morning reciting Romans 12:2 through this breathe prayer:
Inhale: God, transform me.
Exhale: Make my thoughts anew.
Continue using this breathe prayer throughout your day to gently bring your attention back to God’s ability to transform how you think.
And when you make a decision that goes against your goals (because you will!), simply turn your focus back to God, asking for a renewal of thoughts, and the courage and grace to begin fresh again and again and again.
Praying you through,