By Chris Fields

New year, new me! Right? This seems to be the theme we all take on at the beginning of the year. However, we really aren’t looking to significantly alter our day-to-day. What we’re really looking for are new outcomes. Some of the most common outcomes we want to change are our finances, our relationships, and our health.

Yearly we set out to improve our health outcomes with no plan, no clear direction, and no knowledge or understanding of how to achieve or maintain our healthy resolutions.

The Bible says, “In all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). Achieving understanding is a process, and this new year I delight in helping you with your process if you are resolved to improve your health. I am going to provide you with some steps to help inform your decisions.

  • First, have a clear, attainable vision. Some things we can envision are unrealistic, which makes this process one of the most important. Having the right information will help inform your vision. We all want to see our vision come to fruition, and if our vision is based on inaccurate information, we might give up before we even get started good.
  • Next, make a realistic plan. If mornings aren’t your jam, planning to exercise every morning might not be realistic, and you won’t be jamming for long. Sustainability should be part of your plan, because health is a lifelong journey. If what you plan is unrealistic, you will never see your vision.
  • Next, set goals to help you implement your plan. Goals should be SMART – Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-oriented. For any of these to be possible, though, your goals have to be informed with the right information. I feel like I repeat this a lot because there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
  • Last on my list is implementation. Praying to lose weight is not going to make the weight come off, regardless of how much you believe. You must taste and see that the Lord is good. You implement your goals in order to attain what you envisioned. 

I wish I could give you more, but my word count is running low. If you are serious about making lasting changes to improve your physical, spiritual and mental health this new year, I implore you to seek out the right health professionals to guide you along your way. If you need some recommendations, I know an organization … Happy New Year, y’all! 

Chris Fields is the executive director of H.E.A.L. Mississippi, a nonprofit whose mission is to reduce the impact of diabetes and other cardiometabolic disease in Mississippi. Our vision is to establish a high-quality, easily accessible standard of care for diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. God created us to be whole and healthy, and He’s made provisions for us to walk in His divine plan related to our health and healing.