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! ;-) 

Making Changes with Steve

Last week I read an excellent blog by a well-respected businessman and someone who has encouraged me personally when making changes in the past.

In his blog, Steve shares how Intentionality is key to managing change from a business leadership perspective. His 'GiANT Worldwide' blog talks specifically about how to manage change when it occurs within an organisation.

However, because Intentionality is key with managing any change, I believe the tips he shared are just as helpful for us to be intentional, take ownership, and make changes to benefit our own health and wellbeing too.

You can read the full blog, including 5 tips to help make change your own, on the GiANT Worldwide Website by clicking here.

You can find out more about Steve on his website.

You can also revisit one of our earlier webinars exploring how ready you are to make changes by clicking here. Don't forget, if you do make changes - that 'Scaffolding' - as we refer to it, can be really helpful in sustaining any changes for the long term, and let us know how you get on!

Til next week,

Niky and team:)

We believe that empowered choice inspires change, convenience is the enemy, and being intentional is the best way to improve your health and wellbeing. We'd love to help more people learn how they can live a healthy, happy life to the full, and prevent the lifestyle diseases that cause 3 out of 4 of us to die or suffer prematurely. To do this, we need partners who also believe what we believe - we call them Intentional Health Angels. If you would like to join us on our mission to improve health and wellbeing across the nation, please become an angel too by clicking here. Thank you.

Why be intentional about your health?


Photo Credit: Bruno Nascimento

Living "Intentionally" requires an investment of effort on our part, and means we make choices today, often sacrificially, in the interest of our future self.

It is always good to be intentional about our health, but this is especially true;

When our health & wellbeing has the power to affect everything else we do,

When it becomes rare to stop and appreciate our health and wellbeing, until we no longer have it,

When 3 out of 4 of us will needlessly suffer or die prematurely due to our daily health choices,

When the current generation may die before their parents from preventable diseases,

When the cost of poor health to society is becoming untenable

When the NHS  is in crisis and cannot meet the acute health needs, let alone tackle prevention,

When our health is difficult to prioritise in today’s connected and fast-paced culture,

When we forget that health is far easier to maintain than regain,

When not intentionally choosing, is still a choice,

When today’s society means it is easier to make unhealthy choices than healthy ones.

When simply ‘knowing where to start’ can be a good enough reason not to!

All of these reasons make it easier to trade off the effort making intentionally healthy choices today, but are we clear, and okay, about the cost of that choice to our future self?


Intentional Health - Why?


Last week I shared Vanessa's story, a post about why we do Intentional Health. This week I've been asking myself why am I not more self-controlled, especially about doing things I know will benefit me in the long run.

  • Why do I take the lift instead of the stairs?
  • Why do I say no to leaving the duvet early, and miss the opportunity of a morning quiet time or exercise?
  • Why do I say yes to one more of those tasty treats, and wonder why my jeans don't do up?
  • Why do I say "yes" when I really mean "no"?
  • Why do I speak when I want to be quiet?
  • Why do I do nothing, when I "know in my knower"  there is something I could do?
  • Why do I listen to the lies that a 'fear of failure' tells me; that I can't make a difference?
  • Why do I try to run before I can walk, instead of taking one step at a time?
  • Why do I struggle with FOMO (fear of missing out)?
  • Why do I struggle with self-control?
  • Why do I let myself believe that I will do 'it' later, or tomorrow, when there is no guarantee of a 'later' or 'tomorrow'?

Not choosing, is still a choice.  It is usually the easiest option 'in the moment', but can be the most costly in the future.

Not choosing, is still a choice.  It is usually the easiest option in this moment, but it can be the most costly in the future.

Being intentional about our choices can help us overcome our why and not get paralyzed by the many choices around us. It helps us to not make excuses about the many reasons not to, and instead focus on one thing at a time; show up every day; and pursue a simple, self-controlled, healthy and happy, life to the full.

Even though I knew the benefits of exercise equate to the equivalent of taking a super pill, with no side effects I chose to make excuses to not do it.  'In the moment' it was never my easy or preferred option! It required me to intentionally push myself way outside of my place of comfort, usually the duvet!

But as I got more intentional, I chose to set my gym clothes out the night before. I found I enjoyed exercise and it wasn't long before I really saw and felt the benefits. This, in turn, motivated me to keep going! I quickly got into a habit and would go to the gym three times a week.

Over the summer, however, we were away a lot and I got a shoulder injury which scuppered my trips to the gym.

My early morning gym habits were replaced with 5 more minutes under the duvet... maybe you know where I'm heading?

Last week I finally chose to admit that I was slipping into old habits way quicker than they had been created!

I noticed I'd not been sending my usual pictures to my accountable buddies Phil and Jo, even though they'd been sending me theirs. I chose to intentionally share an idea I had about creating a habit of walking in the morning and my husband said he'd love to join me.

We motivated and encouraged each other and have been blessed with some beautiful sunrises as we walk along the Camel Trail in Cornwall (as the unfiltered picture above shows). We have also had some great quality time to catch up with each other too! Happy days!

The shoes are out ready for the morning and as you are reading this, we'll be on the trail! Before we know it, our intentional choices will lead us to a new habit of self-control.

Intentional habits of self-control are why we don't take the lift when there are stairs and can say no to the call of the duvet.

What one thing can you choose to do today that will move you one step towards the life you really long for?

If you are a church volunteer or leader who would like to find out more about taking our ten-session Intentional Health Programme to your community, please register your interest by clicking here and we will contact you with more information about our next Intentional Health training.

If you have been thinking about becoming an Intentional Health Angel, you can be intentional and do that right now by clicking on this link!

If you have been "knowing in your knower" what you need to change whilst reading this article, but still don't know where to start? Please do get in touch ( we might be able to help you :)



Photocredit:Ricardo Gomez Angel

Taking the first step towards a new healthy lifestyle, or indeed any goal can often be the hardest.

Once you have taken that first step you will have momentum on your side, and the fear of the unknown is quickly replaced with learning that you can do something for the first time. This early success can also encourage and motivate you to keep going.

However, there comes a point after you have started out on your new journey where you haven't quite got the essential long-term established habits in place to sustain you in your new Intentional behaviour. Although you may have come a long way, the end is still way out of sight and it is easy to wonder if you will ever make it and reach your goal.

Seth Godin refers to this as 'the dip',  and devotes a chapter of his short book to say 'If It Is Worth Doing, There’s Probably a Dip'. We know investing in our health and wellbeing is worth 'doing', and we know it is easy to give up in the moment or in the dip.

This 'dip' is the point where we are most likely to ditch the healthy eating option on the menu, put the extra treats in the shopping trolley, have just 'one more' when we know we shouldn't or miss yet another gym session. It doesn't take long before we find we've quickly reverted back to our old 'default' or 'previously learned' behaviours. For some, this is the point where you might be most tempted to give up altogether. In fact, Seth Godin goes on to say, that most people do give up at this point.

Here at Intentional Health, this is the time we see the most benefit in 'scaffolding'

We think of scaffolding as additional external support. It provides support that is outside of yourself and is most helpful when inside you may feel like giving up. It can support you through 'the dip' and is required for just enough time to prevent you from stopping altogether with the intentionally healthy plans until you can do it on your own again.

Scaffolding outside of yourself can take many forms, including things like a checklist, an App, friends, and colleagues, church family or a wider community group, including our own 10 session Intentional Health programme.

There are just 3 parallels to be aware of when looking for 'scaffolding';

  1. Just like on a building site, if you wait until you need scaffolding to arrange it, it will most likely be too late!
  2. Scaffolding doesn't actually provide physical support, it enables access to otherwise not as easily accessible parts.
  3. Scaffolding becomes ugly if you rely on it for longer than you need! (Think about a building that has been finished for a while but the scaffolding hasn't been removed)

With September being the start of a new school year for many, it's a great time to set a new goal. Just make sure you are just as intentional about having your scaffolding in place for when you need help to get you through the dip.

Later this week we will be sending out information to church leaders to join us in our next round of Intentional Health training for community-focused churches taking place end of Oct/Nov 2017. If you'd like to know more when we open registration, please fill in your name and email address below and look out for an email later this week!

How Many?


Photo Credit Morgan Sessions

How many units?

If you missed Tom and Gareth's 30-minute alcohol webinar last week, you can watch the replay by clicking here.

Despite having technology issues at the start, and Tom inadvertently pressing something for a few minutes in between, the lads did well!

There is a free "How many units", and a "true or false" quiz, in the accompanying worksheet. We can send you that if you click here.

How many webinars this week?

This week, Tonya and I are hosting a 3 part mini-series on our emotional health and wellbeing, especially how we can really benefit when we are intentional with our boundaries, communication and healthy positive conflict.

These will run 10 am (BST)on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

You can sign up for these by clicking the links below.

Boundaries - Tues 4th July 10:00

Saying No - Wed 5th July 10:00

Positive Communication - Thur 6th July 10:00

Don't forget you need to sign up now to get the replay details so even if you can't make 10:00 BST, still register and watch us later!

How many webinars left?

After this week, we will only have 4 webinars left in our series of 20!

It is so much fun when you join us live and can chat, and we'd love to give you a mention if we can! Sign up below to attend these live.

Goal Setting - Mon 10th July 10:00

Thoughts & Feelings - Mon 17th July 19:30

Joy & Gratitude - Tues 18th July 19:30

Celebrations and Failing Forward - Thur 20th July 19:30

Why not be intentional about joining us LIVE, before you miss your chance!

See you in the webinars!

Niky & Team

P.S. Oh, and if you are wondering...

How many seeds in a sunflower head?

Ready to Change?

After our very first webinar last week, we explored the impact of the choices we make every day, how they add up, and how they determine our future story.

If you didn't manage to make it live, you can still watch the replay by clicking the link here

This Wednesday we are exploring how ready we are to make bigger lifestyle changes and are including one of our exclusive Intentional Health videos!

We will have a quiz that can help you evaluate how ready you might be to make any lifestyle changes, and we'll be discussing how thinking about how ready you are to make changes beforehand, helps us avoid setting ourselves up for a fall.

We'd love for you to join us on Wednesday 26th April 2017 7:30 - 8 pm (BST)

You can do that by registering using this link.

Please feel free to forward this onto a friend or family member who is considering making any lifestyle changes, and also feel free to email us with any questions you

We look forward to seeing you in the webinar!

Wednesday 26th April 2017 7:30 - 8 pm (BST)

Niky & Team