February Fitness Newsletter
Do you ever hear yourself saying anything like the following statements?
· “Oh, I know I ought to exercise more, but…”
· “Well of course I know I need to eat more healthfully, but…”
· “Yes, it’s true, I know I need to drink more water, but…”
If you ever hear yourself making statements like the above, chances are, you have enough knowledge on how to live healthfully, but the obstacles that prevent you from making the right choices are stronger than the motivators that lead you to change your actions. A motivator is anything in a person’s life that is strong enough to promote action.
For instance, a motivator to get out of bed and go to work even on those mornings when ‘we just don’t want to’, for some, may be the need for income from their job to provide for their families. The desire to be a good provider is a strong motivator for many. For others it may be the desire to have a more affluent lifestyle than would be possible if they didn’t work.
However, when the obstacles that get in the way of a certain action are bigger, or stronger than the motivator, the action doesn’t take place. It doesn’t matter how much you know you need to do something, the obstacle just seems to carry more weight. That’s when you hear, “I know I need to, but…” It’s the “but” at the end of the statement that lets you know there is an obstacle to overcome.
But how can we overcome the obstacles that prevent us from making changes in our lives? The answer to this question is as varied as the kind of obstacles themselves. However, there are a few basic steps to identifying the motivators and the obstacles.
First, ask yourself, “What do I want my life, my health, my self to look like in 1 year?” If the picture you see is different from where you are right now, ask yourself, “What changes am I ready to make to achieve this new picture of myself?” After you have identified there are, in fact, areas in your life that you want to change, ask yourself, “What benefits will I achieve if I make this change in my life?” Write down all the benefits you can possibly imagine. After you’ve done that, ask yourself, “What things are standing in the way, right now, that are preventing me from making this change?” Again write down all the various things that may be preventing you from achieving your goal. At this point you are ready to become creative. Look at the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be, and decide what small steps you are willing to make toward achieving the big picture. For instance, your new picture of yourself is 25 pounds lighter. One obstacle to achieving this goal is that you travel, and have to eat out much of the time. What you have to do is find some way to overcome this obstacle. Salad bars get old after a while, so what else could you do? Would it be possible to eat at the restaurant you like, but cut the portions in half and move them off your plate before you ever start eating? Then just eat ½ of what you would have normally eaten.
Of course, this is just an example, but you can be creative just like this when overcoming your obstacles. It often helps to have a health coach to help you set goals and hold you accountable for achieving the goals you set for yourself each week.
Before you start making changes, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into the areas that you need to change. If you’ve already been doing that and are ready to move ahead, take the first step with confidence knowing that He will be with you giving you strength and will-power to overcome. When you feel tempted, pray right then for power from heaven to walk away. It also helps to place reminders in strategic places, for we easily forget when we’re dealing with deep set habits.
So to answer the question, “Is knowledge enough?” No. Knowledge is not enough. Just knowing we need to change is hardly ever motivator enough. We have to want to change. The Holy Spirit can give you that desire, and then give you the will and the creativity to achieve it.
Vegan Molasses Cookies