Intentional health. I came up with this phrase because the word “intentional” drives me.
When I was raising my kids, I latched on to the idea of intentional parenting. What was my goal for my kids? What was the end goal of my parenting? I had decided that my end goal in parenting was to raise children that were respectful, compassionate, productive citizens of our country, thoughtful, leave the world a better place because they lived in it, and finally, children who would have a strong grasp of faith and carry it into their culture and the next generation.
If you look at my list, it’s obvious these traits weren’t something that would just spontaneously occur! Wishful thinking wasn’t going to make it so. Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. And so I began to parent in a way that targeted these traits. I took measured steps to train them with these results in mind.
Health is no different! What are your health goals? What are your challenges? What measured steps can you take to reach your goals?
Here are five steps for intentional living…intentional health.
- Write down your health goals! Be as specific as possible! How many inches around your arms, waist, hips, or thighs would you like to lose? By what date? What will be your reward? Is there a clothing size you’ve wanted to wear? What would you like your BMI to be? Do you desire to run your first 5K? When? In how much time? What would you like to see your blood sugar levels at? Lower cholesterol? Lower blood pressure? Develop a stronger immune system?
- List measured steps to reach your goals. Examples: I will reduce my sugar intake to ___. I will walk 30 minutes four days per week. I will follow a 5K training program. I will take conscious steps to eliminate processed foods from my diet. I will drink a protein shake daily. I will take high-quality supplements to support my overall health. I will keep a food journal. I will do weight training to boost metabolism three days a week. I will participate in two classes at my gym on a weekly basis.
- Be vocal about your goals. When you verbalize your intentions, you create accountability to what you’ve stated. Skin in the game. Some may try to sabotage you, but those who love you will cheer you on.
- Plan out each day. Those who are most successful in their careers have strong calendar/time management skills. Health is no different. Some people like to map out a week, others like to map out each day. Find what works for you…but planning needs to occur. When will you fit in a workout? Do you need to have your clothes by your bed to eliminate excuses to avoid a 6:00 a.m. workout? Or pack them for work for an after-work exercise? What will you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks? How will you get enough water throughout the day? How far do you have to run today in your 5K, 10K, or marathon training plan?
- Make this your life…commit. Your goals come from YOU. They are what burn within you and drive you. That makes them pretty important! So make those measured steps you outlined for success in #2 as important as your other commitments... make them as important as showing up to work, meeting with your friends, taking Johnny to the doctor, or paying your bills. Wishful thinking doesn’t accomplish goals and no one can reach goals for you. Commit daily to your goals.
Be intentional today and every day. It’s the only way to a guaranteed outcome and a life of no regrets!