As believers, we often confront our greatest fear at the crossroads of change. Because of fear, our thoughts about how to move forward can be both complicated and overwhelming. For the Gospel Today Readers, standing at their crossroads of a healthy lifestyle change, now is a good time for you to arm yourself with the right tools so you can move beyond your fears. Doing so will enable you to choose the right path necessary for initiating a fresh start and a transformed life.
20 years ago, I reached my crossroads. Accepting that it was time for me to change my unhealthy lifestyle habits to achieve my heart’s desires didn’t come easy because of my fears. Fortunately for me, God blessed me with a supervisor that had already figured out how to achieve what I ultimately wanted in my life. Inspired by him, I decided to try running to become physically active. I started with the process of walking and running, and surprisingly, after my weeks of breathlessness and tired legs subsided, I embraced it. With a mindset of fear to faith, I practiced consistency and as a result, I learned how to breathe properly and my muscles and lungs got stronger. Finally, I was starting to see results.
I must admit that I avoided the second part of a much needed focus which was my food consumption. I started to listen more attentively to messages about eating healthier. I had become knowledgeable enough to know that poor eating habits would sabotage the progression of my results. As I researched the foods I traditionally ate like the two-piece fried chicken, red beans and rice, and biscuit meal at my favorite spot, I started to recognize the potential hazards of my choices.
I had become knowledgeable enough to know that poor eating habits would sabotage the progression of my results.
Those periodic reflections remind me how I confronted and emerged from my fears. As I transitioned from my sofa to the streets and eventually evolved to the role of a fitness coach, I was able to make sense out of my failures, set-backs, and roadblocks. It became clear to me that I needed to develop tools like my “BOLD Goals” and “Ten Essential Habits for Living Healthier” to help others achieve their desires.Once you’ve established some BOLD Goals for your own life, then you’ll be in a position to embrace and practice the Ten Essential Habits for Living Healthier.
- Balanced—Think about how to create better balance in your life. From work, school, and church to family and friends, you have to make YOU a priority. In the beginning, I had to balance my life to create time to research healthy recipes, go grocery shopping, and prepare and cook my meals at home.
- Opened—Be open to newness and stepping out of your comfort zone. As a runner, I have to be open to a variety of activities mainly for injury prevention purposes. I’m continuously trying new activities such as spinning. Last Summer, I trained for a cycling event for the American Diabetes Association and this Summer, I took swimming lessons. Both were new activities that required me to step outside of my comfort zone.
- Labor Intense—Pursuing and achieving your goals will involve labor. More than likely, the labor is going to be intense. So, get ready to exert some energy into thinking about and outlining your plans to incorporate the right changes. I love Creole cuisine like jambalaya. As a result, I have to routinely exert energy into thinking about ways to make my favorites healthier like substituting white rice for brown rice and high-fatty meats for low-fat meats.
- Deliberate—When you think about the term deliberate in this context, it means you must be focused on limiting known distractions and not allowing anything or anyone to deter you from pursuing and achieving your desires.
Ten Essential Habits for Living Healthier
- Be physically active each day
- Eat nutritious foods each day
- Eat breakfast each day
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Get adequate sleep each day
- Set ongoing goals for lifestyle modifications
- Get routine exams and screenings
- Avoid risky behaviors
- Examine your relationships
- Live life with a purpose
If you’re contemplating a healthy lifestyle change, don’t give in to fear, rather step out on faith and arm yourself with the right tools to achieve your heart’s desires.
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? (Isaiah: 43:18-19)