I recall my own mother telling me the story of cutting back on smoking while she was pregnant with me and my brother, of which in jest my brother and I still occasionally refer to each other as ‘nicotine babies’ ‘, much to my mother’s chagrin. Thankfully, she has remained quit since I was a child, though it took about a decade for her to permanently seal the decision.
But shouldn’t we all be aiming for our best health with the intensity of a pregnant mom? What makes the difference? Perhaps it has something to do with how we define ourselves while we relate to our own circumstances. I remember my brother calling me on the phone part way through the pandemic and asking me if I had “gained my COVID 19 yet?” (as in 19 pounds). Thankfully, I couldn’t yet oblige him with that. On the contrary, I’ve seen a number of people use the circumstances of the pandemic to make some substantial improvements, often with lifesaving benefits.
So how about you? With the New Year upon us, and the recurrent theme of resolutions stirring once again, have you made any for this year? Maybe life with a new baby is not on the horizon, but the same principle that makes having a new baby of great worth is also found in each of us. Isn’t it about time that we acknowledge the great gift of life that we are given and make the most of it? Even if it takes ten years, like it did my mom, to quit a bad habit, wouldn’t it be worth it? And who knows, if you really give it your all, maybe you can make a significant advance, that will not only impact your health but will also improve your quality of life, your day-to-day joy and satisfaction, and will likely influence someone else for the better.
And with that, here are a few of my own personal New Year’s resolutions:
- Spend a thoughtful hour every day contemplating the life of Jesus.
- Work up to at least an hour per day in either a standard app-based calisthenic exercise program or various outdoor exercises.
- Never overeat when engaging in an evening meal.
Now you go ahead. Make your own resolution. Take it seriously and tell at least one person. Make it a SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based) goal and put in your full effort to make it happen. God will help you.
2022 here we come!
May your health prosper,
Dr. Greg Steinke