One of the most amazing things about men who decide to change their health is the impact it has on their entire life. The human brain is wired in such a way that one’s happiness and self-confidence is rooted in our ability to obtain goals. Men are designed to pursue, hunt, acquire. When those things are not happening, men grow stagnant and often bored and unhappy.
This is why continuing to set goals is of such importance. Without them, men can lose their direction, and at times, even lose our sense of what it means to be a man. One of the amazing things that many of our patients find when they take the step to change their health is a renewed sense of purpose and self-confidence.
Optimized health requires discipline and consistency. It requires defining what you want from yourself, setting goals, and then pursuing them. As you begin to make changes to your nutrition and movement you will notice that your subjective experience of life is dramatically improved. You begin to awake and start the day with energy, feel good physically, and like what you see when you look in the mirror. But it is not simply the physical changes that are of such benefit it is also the mental changes.
This pursuit of optimized health builds and reinforces the power of discipline. As you set health goals and then work consistently to obtain them, you begin to see results and so, you work harder until you reach your goal. You discover the secret key to success is to set goals, figure out the skills necessary to achieve those goals, stay consistent to your plan, and eventually you will have your reward.
Often, this is a reawakening for men. Self-control, consistency, and habitual behavior are all deeply intertwined. It takes self-control to remain dedicated and consistent to a task. Consistency breeds habit, and habit reinforces self-control. It’s a continual loop where self-control and creating habits feed off each other.
Self-control is the necessary from the beginning. Every one of us has the ability to control self and, if we don’t, we will often end up in ruin both in life and health. Proverbs 25:28 says that a man who lacks self-control is like a city broken into, and without walls. That describes the awful reality of those who never choose to take control of their lives. They are open to attack physically, mentally, and emotionally and they are brought down by life and circumstance. The person with self-control, however, is able to press on through any circumstance and reach victory. Self-control is the beginning of accessing the warrior within.
Change always begins with studying what you wish to change. Study yourself and pay close attention to the negative habits you have picked up over the years that are holding you back: staying up too late and other poor sleeping habits, overeating, lack of movement, and so forth. As you make discovery of these things do not be discouraged but instead be grateful that your eyes have been opened. Gratitude is always the foundation to any positive action. Once you are aware of the negative habits, set goals for yourself, map out a plan of how you will reach these goals, and then act on the plan. Don’t be discouraged or overcome when you meet with failures along the way because they will happen. Simply dig in and stay the course. Consistency will turn your actions into habits and eventually you will have your goal.
We challenge every man reading this to recognize that he is called to be a warrior and the true warrior spirit is rooted in constant pursuit of the better. Making the choice to change your health will not end simply with better health, but it will instead reawaken you in a whole new way. At the end of the pursuit is optimized health and an optimized life. It is you at the top of your game making your life into everything you want it to be.
1. Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice Benjamin Gardner, Lecturer in Health Psychology, Phillippa Lally, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
2. The role of habit in different phases of exercise. Kaushal N1, Rhodes RE2, Meldrum JT3, Spence JC4.