opportunities

Opportunities vs Obligation

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Have you have noticed how frequently we are presented with opportunities? Temptations, distractions and offers that are just "too good to miss" are almost as persistent in our lives today, as the wet, cold, winter has been! Although, I'm sure you were as blessed as I was to finally feel the warmth of sunshine this weekend :)

But I heard someone say something this week that made me stop dead in my tracks and compelled me to write about it here!

"Opportunities do not equal obligations".

Often, I assume opportunities are good, and that I would be foolish to say no! I know I've mentioned FOMO before, but I don't think I'd really considered that opportunities can also present themselves  in the form of temptations.

Temptations such as...

  • left-over easter eggs when you are trying to eat healthily;
  • distractions from the work required, such as exam revision or having quiet times;
  • bargains that have to be bought because they are just "too good to be true"
  • or even the duvet covers that compel you to stay in your warm comfortable bed when you know you really need to get up and get active....

Temptations are all opportunities too - but opportunities don't make them obligations! - ie - I don't have to say yes to them - I still have a choice to overcome them!

I appreciate overcoming these opportunities is not as easy as it seems! Not only does it require us to be intentional - but it requires courage too.

  • It takes courage to say no - It's uncomfortable to say no - we don't like disappointing others, and we want others to like us! Sometimes, it's easy to believe the lie that saying 'no' could jeopardise this.
  • It takes courage to identify which opportunities may be harmful - This can be hard because this often this means being honest and saying no to ourselves about things we don't really want to say no to! Giving up instant gratification, comfort or denying oneself of pleasure. However, it's worth remembering that refusing to say no here, can eventually cost more in the long run.
  • It takes courage to identify and focus on which opportunities will be helpful - The problem occurs here when so many things could be helpful, saying yes to every opportunity could end up diluting the impact of the one or two really good opportunities.

This is a problem because being consistent with just these one or two opportunities at a time could make the biggest difference.

By being intentional about saying no to many things, will most likely mean you can say yes to a few things well.

So this week - if you find yourself faced feeling obligated, why not use that as a God given opportunity to give yourself some time to consider that opportunities do not always equal obligation, and remember that being intentional is as much about elimination as it is addition!


unsplash-logoGreta Punch

If you want to start on your journey towards being more intentional to living a healthier, happier life, then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below.

Sign up to receive these blogs via a weekly email and receive a FREE "5 Steps towards a healthier lifestyle ebook by clicking here  

And as always, if you found this post helpful or inspiring, please share it so others can benefit too! and we'd love you to get in touch and share with us about any experiences about how you have said no to opportunities that ended up leading to a better outcome in the long run.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an Intentional Health Church PartnerAngel or Prayer Warrior - and want to partner with us to prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities click on the links above or contact us

Momentum

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This morning, I am feeling very appreciative of help and others. For those who don't know, I have just spent 9 days in bed with a nasty dose of the Flu. Big thanks to all of you who have sent messages of encouragement and well wishes, to those who brought food and flowers and transported kids, and the patience of all those who I didn't get to respond to for a while.

As I dozed, I thought often about how much I appreciate others. I’m not just talking about when I have the flu, but by being part of a meaningful, bigger community.

It was so encouraging to hear about the impact others were making delivering Intentional Health programmes in communities around the country, whilst I couldn’t even get out of bed.

I also appreciated how much I miss team members, one who has recently left to do some amazing things, and one who was on holiday, and I realised how much I personally appreciate and value others to help keep me going - Never more so than in getting going again after a period absence! Which brings me to today’s topic - momentum.

When I am well, I have to be intentional about resting and not overworking - mainly because I love what I do so much, but I still want to make sure I have a healthy margin in place and I am present for my family and friends. This extended time-out has shown me that I have been blessed by resting, and spending any energy that I had to find out how my kids days have been, and also some meaningful listening around teenage life. I was grateful to even be able to help with a little GCSE exam revision. (For those into physics: Momentum = Mass x Velocity).

As I was stuck in bed and began to think about getting myself back to work, I realised how I had 'run out' of momentum.

…My team mass was depleted and I wasn’t moving anywhere.

Admittedly, I will still need to take it easy until I am fully recovered, but at first, I didn’t even know where to start - how do I regain momentum?

Thankfully, Gareth helped me with some of his Motivational Interviewing coaching principles as momentum is linked to motivation, and I thought I’d share them with you, in case you find yourself lacking in momentum or not knowing where to start.

He asked me 3 questions that helped:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you right now?
  2. Remind me why you do what you do?
  3. Tell me what one small thing you can do that would take that motivation up one mark?…..do that one that thing.

My small thing was to write this blog, and it has helped me get going again. And thank you for being part of our Intentional Health family and reading it, you motivate me to keep going :)

Let me know where might you be able to use these 3 questions to help you make some progress this week?

Photo Credit:Dane Deaner


If you want to find out about becoming an Intentional Health Church PartnerAngel or Prayer Warrior - and want to partner with us to prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities - now is a great time for that!


If you want to start or gain momentum again on your journey towards being more intentional about your health then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below, to help you on your journey to living a healthier, happier life.

And as always, if you found this post helpful or inspiring, please share it so others can benefit too!

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Story Time

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Photo Credit:Ben White

As it is National Storytelling Week (January 27th – February 3rd), we invite you to make yourself comfy for today's Intentional Health story time...

Once upon a time…..

….many years ago, there was a nasty outbreak of a disease called cholera. This disease caused many people to become physically sick, causing much suffering leading to many deaths.

It turned out that the disease was entirely preventable by not drinking contaminated water. Sadly, people didn’t know that this was the case and couldn’t make a choice to stop drinking the water because they didn’t know it was contaminated.

When John Snow, a local physician, figured out the source of the disease may have been from a contaminated water pump, the water pump handle was removed.

This simple act prevented people from unknowingly making a choice that was causing physical suffering and needless death. It was also instrumental in beginning public health policy in the UK. 

And so, after the pump handle was removed, everyone really did ‘live’… and we hope…“ happily ever after”.

The end.

… erm, not quite!…

I do wonder, how many people were a little grumpy at the inconvenience of having to get water from a different pump? They would probably have been blissfully unaware that this removal of choice was preventing them from suffering needlessly and premature death.

And I think about how today, many years later, people are still becoming sick and suffering needlessly because of unknowingly making unwise lifestyle choices.

The NHS is struggling to treat and care for the people who are sick, and our fast-paced, convenience-culture means that we are not just dealing with physical sickness and diseases like coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancers…. but our mental and emotional health, as well as our spiritual health, is suffering too.

So here at Intentional Health, we are inviting volunteers from the local church to partner with us and help our communities understand how important it is to make healthy choices that lead to healthier habits, in order to live a healthy and happy life and avoid premature illness and death. We also know that people who are beginning to make habitually, healthy choices are best placed to help others make great habitual choices too.

We train and equip volunteers with all the public health information that helps us all make wise lifestyle choices and create healthy habits that can significantly improve our health and wellbeing.

We address whole person health and wellbeing topics through our 10 session programme. The 10 session programme explores physical health topics like food and physical activity, as well as considering habits, stress, worry, thoughts and feelings, boundaries, sleep and rest.

We are inviting volunteers from the local church to partner with us to deliver the message in their communities all over the nation, and because we come from a Christian perspective we also include exploring a little of our own spiritual health from this point of view too, although this part is optional and people from all faiths and none are very welcome to attend.

We hope that our programme, and this blog, inspires you to think about the informed and uninformed habits or choices you are making about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health today.

Unfortunately, we can’t remove the water pump handle of today’s convenience culture, but we hope we might inspire you to choose to drink the right water so that you can live ‘happily ever after’ too.I


If you would like to find out more about becoming an Intentional Health Church Partner with us and help prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities - Expressions of interest for our March training is now open.


If you want to start on your own journey towards making more informed and intentional choices about your health then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below or attending a programme in your community. We'd love to help start you on your journey towards living a happy ever after life too.

Please share this post with others so it can benefit them too, and let us know how you are being more intentional about your health and wellbeing.

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Feel Like Giving Up?

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Photo Credit :Lucy Trevatt

As we approach the January halfway point, I wonder how your new year resolutions, disciplines or goals are going? Are you making progress and celebrating your success along the way, or perhaps the novelty is beginning to wear thin and any changes are feeling hard? Have you been tempted to give up yet? If so, we want to encourage you today.  

Although making changes in life sounds relatively simple in theory:  ‘you stop/start doing something new’, in reality, and in practice, it is actually quite hard!

We are hard-wired to be efficient, to stay safe and to conserve energy.   Making change requires a lot of willpower, risk and effort.

Making changes to any existing habits, disciplines or routines, is not easy, but here are 3 things that might help in reaching goals or adopting new disciplines or resolutions for this year.

1 - Remember your ‘why’

Ask yourself “Why did I(start/stop/fill in the blank) in the first place?

Rarely does anyone attempt to make change lightly. It is usually only after something becomes so unbearable, or something else becomes so compelling, that we feel change is necessary.

Once we begin to make changes in the new and improved direction, the ‘unbearable’ can quickly become a distant memory, yet the ‘compelling’ still remains a long way off, despite all our efforts. It is then that it is often much easier to settle back into old routines and comfortable, safe old habits.

Going back to remind ourselves why we wanted to make any changes in the first place, can really help keep us motivated during this time, especially until the new behaviour becomes an unconscious habit.

2 - Create an environment of reminders

Once we have established our motives for change, putting meaningful reminders front and centre of our everyday activities is really important.

Things like; putting pictures of what ‘success’ might look like on our bathroom mirror to look at while teeth brushing, writing encouraging notes and sticking them on the fridge and make tally charts or scorecards to record every time we make small steps in the right direction, can all help.

Sharing our successes with others or inviting others to ask how we are getting on when we next see them can also help keep us accountable.

3 - Accept failure when it happens

Perfection is an illusion. Failure is inevitable, and never more so than if we have set ourselves the “perfect” picture of how we will change or how easy it might be.

If we chose to humble ourselves and accept that a degree of failure as a likely option, we can be intentional in exploring and creating a plan for how we will overcome those obstacles before we are faced with the potential reality.

If we aim for perfection, we don’t accept failure as an option, and it will be much harder to start (and therefore put ourselves at risk of failure) to achieve our goals in the first place, and we are more likely to give up altogether.

So this week, if you feel like giving up, please remember why you started, put reminders of that on your fridge, and when you mess up, remember that success only comes after you get up one more time than you failed! 

Keep pressing on and don’t give up!


If you've been thinking about becoming an Intentional Health Church Partner, Angel or Prayer Warrior - and want to partner with us to prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities - now is the best time for that too! ;-) 


If you want to start on your journey towards being more intentional about your health then why not download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook by clicking the picture below, to help start your journey to living a healthier, happier life.

And as always, if you found this post helpful or inspiring, please share it so others can benefit too! and we'd love you to get in touch and share with us about how you love to laugh.

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When? 

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Photo Credit:Tim Mossholder

If, as the saying goes, twenty years ago was the best time to plant a tree, when is the best time to be intentional about your health?

Is it ...

  • when your jeans don't do up?
  • when you feel exhausted?
  • when you notice you are cranky with your family?
  • when you come out of the doctor's appointment?
  • when you get 'old'?
  • when you retire?
  • when getting out of bed every day is a struggle?
  • when the weekend/holiday/party is over?
  • when you realise you have control over your thoughts?
  • when "they" change ...?
  • or when you know you probably should but ... [fill in the blanks with relevant excuses]

The answer is probably yes to all of the above - but there is an even better time, and that time is now.

Right now.

Right now is the best time to be intentional about your health. In fact, right now is the best time to be intentional about anything.

Each time you make a choice, good or bad, there are consequences.

Every time you make a choice in the direction of good, positive or healthy things, the consequences pull you in a good direction.

These small steps all move us in the direction of progress, despite rarely seeing these consequences occur instantly, or in the moment - especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing!

But just like we can't easily see everyday germs, we know they will build up to levels that will make us sick if we don't wash our hands.

That means regularly being intentional, even in small steps like:

can all add up and make a difference.

So today's thought: Never leave your future self in charge of something as important as your health and wellbeing.

Never put off tomorrow what you can do right now.

None of us has a guaranteed tomorrow. Plus, one day, you'll find yourself enjoying the fruit and be sitting under the shade of that tree you planted 20 years ago.


PS - Don't forget, if you've been thinking about becoming an Intentional Health Church PartnerAngel or Prayer Warrior - and want to partner with us to prevent sickness, save lives and inspire healthy communities - now is the best time for that too! ;-) 

Did you notice the good or bad habits?

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If you watched the replay of last weeks webinar, you'll know that there are no such thing as good and bad habit loops, habit loops are just a pathway.

That's why it's good to put ourselves in the way of "good things"

because it is the triggers and cues, and associated behaviours that are good or bad, not the habits themselves. (although, healthy or unhealthy might be a more helpful way to describe them!)

If you haven't watched the replay and don't want to miss out, here's the link

https://app.webinarjam.net/replay/35515/26fd6d8791/0/0

Oh, and you'll want us to send you the accompanying worksheet beforehand if you want help trying to identify your own habits, you can do that by letting us know your email address - you can do that by clicking here.

https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/217810?v=6

And if you want to find out how best to change habits, you might want to join me and Gareth live on Tuesday 6th June 7:30 pm (BST), or watch the replay at your own convenience later.

Either way, you can register here!

https://app.webinarjam.net/register/35515/87a700819a

We love it when you join us live - it's really fun and interactive and we can answer your questions.

We also try and mention those of you who have helped us along the way, so it's good not to miss out on your moments of fame!

See you in the webinar?

Niky, Tom, Gareth & Team