Health Plan & Goals
(taken from Dr. Wes Youngberg’s book "Goodbye Diabetes")
Identify Your Goals
How would your life change for the better if you didn’t struggle with the same health problems you’re struggling with now? Why do you want to be healthy? What are the things that you want to accomplish or experience with an improved level of health?
These are important questions to answer. While different people have different motivations, I hear the following reasons quite frequently:
- I want to live a long life.
- I want to thrive, not just survive.
- I want more energy.
- I want to be around for my family.
- I want to see my children and grandchildren grow up.
- I want to be able to accomplish more.
- I want to feel better about my weight and/or appearance.
- I want to reduce my risk for disease.
- I want to keep medical costs down.
- I want my mood to improve.
I encourage you to set aside some time to write down the reasons why you want to be healthy. Constantly remind yourself of these reasons when you are tempted to give up. You can even write them on post-it-notes and place them where you will see them often.
While these kinds of goals are valuable, it’s important to set more specific, defined goals. Examples of these goals could include:
- I want to lose 20 pounds in the next six months.
- I want to be able to walk or run five miles.
- I want to no longer fit the criteria for prediabetes.
- I want to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides.
- I want to fit into my old clothes again.
Make A Plan
Once you identify the goals you want to accomplish, formulate a plan to help you reach those goals. This can be done by setting specific, short-term, action-based goals like:
- I am going to eat 40 grams of fiber each day by increasing my intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
- I am going to exercise 15 minutes after each meal, as well as 30 minutes in the morning.
- I am going to do strength training three times per week.
- I am going to eat beans and nuts with my meals to help balance my blood sugars.
Make sure that the action goals you set are SMART goals.
Think Right About Your Goals
Maintain a positive attitude about your potential to succeed. Believe that, regardless of the past or current health condition, there is hope for major improvements.
One of the most important strategies for improving your health is to improve your thinking. In the Bible, Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We tend to become what we think about or what we identify with.
Examples Of Successful Thinking
- My health is important to me and to the people I care about.
- I want to be healthy because...
- Taking care of my health is an investment in my future.
- I can make simple choices to improve my health.
- It’s not too late. I can start today.
- Improving my health is worth the effort.
- I can overcome my risk factors.
- Little choices add up to big improvements.
- If I mess up, I can start over.