Oh January…back so soon!?

As the calendar flips for the final time, some people are truly elated. A fresh new year lies ahead, full of open time slots and unlimited opportunities!  But let’s go ahead and get real . . . January may also bring pressure of 2017’s unmet goals, and this can weigh heavily upon our shoulders as we consider our strengths and weaknesses moving forward into a new year. Reflection is good, and I encourage it. But what if it reveals something you can’t quite answer?

“Why couldn’t I stick to what I said I was going to do?,” “How did I get so off course?,” or “Why am I even trying?” (Ever think any of these questions to yourself about 6 weeks after setting a new year’s resolution?)

Statistics reveal that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February.  And with weight loss and physical fitness goals often among the most popular each year, it’s pretty safe to assume that physical health is an area we all desire to improve. But in reality, life gets demanding and our health can become a rather sensitive topic before eventually taking a back seat once again.

I am currently living the very busy life of a church planter’s wife, mom of 3, and working professional. If anyone has good reason to avoid commitment to physical health during this phase of life, I promise I’d be at the top of that list. But as a Registered Dietitian, and having a God-given passion for my job, I spend my time educating and coaching individuals and families to make physical health resolutions that stick. While every meal may not be perfectly balanced, I am mindful of every single one. And while my weeks may not look exactly the same, I do fiercely protect the mornings I exercise.

I teach it and I live it, week after week, all year long. And here’s what I’ve learned about improving physical health:

  • It’s not a sprint, but a marathon.
  • It’s not a drastic process, but one that is composed of simple, subtle, and focused steps.
  • It’s not flashy, but a daily choice.
  • It’s definitely not easy, but with guidance and support, it’s very possible.
  • While it’s costly in effort, the benefits are far reaching and cannot be outweighed.
  • And it doesn’t begin by training the body, but by training the mind.

I also find that mindset is often the missing piece for many people who begin a physical health journey and also the reason so many people fail. If you want to finally reap the many benefits of improving your physical health this year, I encourage you to begin with these steps!

Commit to Training Your Mind

1) Examine your mindset regarding physical activity.

*The book Mindset by Carol Dweck is a great tool that examines the idea of growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets. A fixed mindset will limit our potential in any area of life.

2) Be brave with a willingness to grow, be pushed outside of comfort, and try new things.

3) Speak and think positively of yourself rather than negatively. Remind yourself that your abilities are God-given and your potential at any age is endless.

4) Be thankful every single day for the ability to move as God intricately designed our bodies to do.

5) Acknowledge regularly that you are worth the time and investment in your physical health.

Commit to Training Your Body

1) Pick something you like to do physically or try something new. Try a group fitness class or work with a trainer who can help you feel more comfortable.

2) Choose ahead of your week which days and times you are willing to commit to physical health. You don’t need a full hour – just commit to the minutes you designate and “show up.” The first step is always the hardest, so get it over with quickly!

3) Consider the power of accountability and community.

*The book The Power of Habit by Charles Duigg is another great suggestion. In regard to community, it reads, “The evidence is clear: If you want to change a habit, you must find an alternative routine, and your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group. Belief is essential, and it grows out of a communal experience, even if that community is only as large as two people.”

4) Nourish yourself well. Your gas tank needs high quality fuel. Think fresh, whole foods as often as possible.

5) Rest and recover. Physical work is demanding and the body works just as hard to repair itself. Avoid the temptation to believe more is better. Designate your ‘off’ days and keep them sacred.

No matter what resolutions you have set for yourself this year, be encouraged and be a source of encouragement to those around you. The journey toward improvement is long, but incredibly worth it. Let’s be confident and committed as we journey together into 2018. Remember this: exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate!

Melissa Hoover
Momentum Church (McDonough, GA)

Melissa Hoover is a mom of 3 (2 girls and very newly adopted son from DR Congo in Africa)! She is a Registered Dietitian by profession and works part time teaching and counseling individuals and families about healthy eating. She also love all things fitness and helping athletes with their performance nutrition. Melissa is a wife of a church planter and helped plant Momentum Christian Church in McDonough, GA over 10 years ago. She is also a leader in the ministry of Bloom.

Want to Learn More?

Melissa will go into more detail on this topic during the Bloom Online Learning Community she’s leading on January 16 at 11 a.m. Go to the link below to register and learn how Bloom empowers women to maximize their role in church planting.