Lifestyle change is hard. It takes consistent and constant effort on the part of the patient and physician to make these changes a reality. Here are the 3 actions steps I tell a patient to help them achieve lifestyle change.
1.Write down your goals
According to one study, just writing down your goals achieves the chances of success by 42%. In 2015, I wrote down three goals. The first goal was to revamp our clinic website (I failed to do that). My second goal was to start a blog (I failed to that in 2015 but have succeeded in 2016). The final goal was to begin a relationship with someone that could result in marriage. In February of 2015 I began a relationship with someone. In December I got engaged. And in 2 months, I will be a married man. Writing down your goals can be more powerful than you think.
2. Write down the motivations behind your goals
Motivation is fuel that propels you toward your goals. It gets you going and keeps you going. In 2015, I wrote down my goal to start a blog. It never happened. In 2016, I wrote both my goals AND my motivations. The rest is history. Motivations allow us to emotionally and intellectually remind us what is driving us forward. What’s at stake if you achieve this goal? What’s at stake if you don’t achieve this goal? Knowing your motivations keep you on track.
3. Partner with God
If my patients are religious I tell them to partner with God on their journey toward health. God desires their health and happiness. Pray to God for strength. Recognize he is on your side to make your goals a reality.
For my patients who are not religious, I describe the 4 aspects of health: the physical, mental-emotional, social and the spiritual. It concerns areas such as meaning, purpose and significance. Those areas aren’t physical. They’re not social. And they’re really not mental-emotional either. The spiritual aspect of health provides us with the strength and power to achieve our goals. As a Christian myself, I believe something out there is compelling us to better people. The spiritual aspect of health has to come from somewhere. Tapping into that will help you achieve your goal.