3 Strategies to Stick to Your Health Goals

by | Feb 28, 2019 | Health & Healing

Did you resolve to improve your health, diet and habits at the beginning of the year?

It’s now been about seven weeks. How are you doing with them so far?

During the months of January and February, we talked about learning from the past for a more successful year, setting up resolutions that succeed and the most common reasons they fail.

Why?

Resolutions and goals can be hard.

In fact, most reports claim that greater than 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February.

If you’re on the brink and feeling defeated, don’t quit.

Instead, try these three strategies to stick with your health goals. It’s not about the new year; it’s about your health journey every day.

3 Strategies to Stick With Your Health Goals

1. Forget motivation and rewire your brain for action.

The Problem with Motivation

If you’ve been depending on motivation to stick with your health goals, I’ve got some bad news. Motivation doesn’t really work.

In fact, it will wax and wane and is more of an emotion than a sure-fire tactic.

What’s more, it’s not the natural state of your brain.

Unless it is faced with immediate danger or gratification, your brain wants to keep your body comfortable. In fact, it works towards homeostasis or the “state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or drive has been reduced or eliminated” (dictionary.com).

Your brain will actively work to reduce the stimulation or drive. This includes your challenge to take on a new healthy habit like resisting detrimental foods.

Laser Focus

There’s another issue.

Especially if you’re trying to make a behavior change that’s been difficult for you in the past, a busy brain will have an especially tough time.

The more difficult the task, the more focus and energy is needed for it. The difficulty of a task may mean emotional or psychological difficulty, not necessarily physical. The “difficult” task must become a singular objective at that moment. Due to this demand and effort, a busy brain may further resist the action (“The Neuroscience of Goals and Behavior Change”).

Rewire the Brain

The solution? Don’t give your brain the chance to think and resist. Bypass the resistance with action, until the action becomes a habit.

In Mel Robbins’ teachings on behavior change, she’s coined her steps as the “Five-Second Rule.” Basically, this philosophy teaches that you focus in on the one behavior, and you bypass motivation.

In order to do so, when it’s time for the action, you count down 5-4-3-2-1 and then do it.

One task, one focus, no time to “change your mind.”

For example, let’s say you want to start waking up earlier right when your alarm goes off rather than hitting snooze. Once you hear the alarm, you count down 5-4-3-2-1, snap open your eyes and get up.

Don’t listen to your brain telling you to stay in bed, laser-focus on only counting down and then acting.

The more you do this, the more your brain will develop new pathways (alarm equals countdown equals out of bed). You’ll establish habits that will become your new status quo.

2. Set up negative and positive consequences.

There is another way you can trick your brain: immediate consequences and rewards.

Remember that our brain will fight our “drive” unless there’s an immediate danger or immediate gratification? You can create one that’s tied to your actions.

Unfortunately, the long-term consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle aren’t great motivators. But you can put immediate consequences into practice.

To start, try bets or rewards.

Examples of Immediate Consequences

For example, you can “bet” your child that if you don’t wake up when you say you will, you will pay him $5.00 that day. That’s an immediate consequence to not getting out of bed.

Or, if you do, you will put $5.00 away for yourself for something you really want (not food). It’s important to make this an action: physically put $5.00 in jar.

The key here is the follow-through and action. You’ve got to stick to your word.

3. Tell yourself the truth.

In all of this, you can overcome feeling deflated by simply telling yourself the truth about who you are in Christ.

  • You are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • You were beautifully made, and God knows you inside and out (Ps. 139:13-14).
  • You are worthy of love and forgiveness, just the way you are, goals or no goals (John 3:16).
  • You are strong and can look at any situation with contentment and gratitude (Phil. 4:11-13).
  • You are cared for, and even your smallest goals are important to God (Matt. 6:26-30).

Bottom Line

Your health goals are not all or nothing. They are a journey and a part of your walk with God as His creation. You can stick with your health goals.

Set your plan to bypass motivation and form habits, give yourself tangible consequences and rewards, and remember the truth that you are already worthy and loved by God. {eoa}

Don Colbert, M.D., has been board-certified in family practice for over 25 years and practices anti-aging and integrative medicine. He is a New York Times’ best-selling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You and many more, with over 10 million books sold. He is the medical director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida, where he has treated over 50,000 patients.

This article originally appeared at drcolbert.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Prophetic Words: End of Year Prophecies to Guide You into 2023

Chris Reed's Prophetic Word Over China: Unprecedented mass protests are unfolding right now across China. The country is seeing the largest pushback in decades, following their "zero COVID strategy" still in place today. China's Communist Party has continued to...

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Declaring a Great Awakening Among Prodigals

Read Time: 1 Minute 23 Seconds It’s a shocking statistic! More than 80 and up to 90% of children who grow up in church are leaving the church once they reach 18. Sadly, only 40% return, according to Focus on the Family. I believe, with prayer, we can defy those...

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Bible Verse of the Day, Dec. 8th: Advent Season, Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10 And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the...

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Marilyn Hickey: God Can Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Read Time: 2 Minutes 2 Seconds Have you ever broken a bone? If so, you know what it’s like to go through a painful healing process. Consider what that might feel like in the spiritual realm. Sometimes we can get broken in various ways in life, but God wants to “set”...

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

RECENT ARTICLES

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What...
Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

Raise Your Praise!

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and principalities that come against you, in addition to the challenges...

Pin It on Pinterest