By Dr. Jason Littleton
Life is never a straight line. It has curves, valleys—mountains. Meaning, there are going to be obstacles—even resistance—in getting from point A (your dreams) to point B (experiencing them). You have to be prepared for such because the human experience is full of such occurrences.
I realized, about 2 years ago, as I was reflecting about some of my patients, and the changes that they wanted to make—needed to make—in their health and life, that it takes 3 components to bring about effective change: Inspiration, Concentration, Execution, or I.C.E. This concept is the core and platform of my company, WellSpring Human Energetics, LLC, a lifestyle modification company.
Basically, we humans have to be motivated about the things we want in life, like our dreams—that’s inspiration. We have to be focused mentally to bring them to pass—that’s concentration. And thirdly, we have to go out and go get the things we want—that’s execution.
This week, I want to converse with you about the first concept of the I.C.E formula, Inspiration, by providing you 4 things you need to be motivated about to be your best in health and life. This is what is going to get you from point A to point B without the curves, valleys and mountains extinguishing your fire.
Not Succumbing to Illness. I know what your thinking…how can one that has been sick, maybe terminal, take this to heart? Easy, because not succumbing to illness does not mean that a sickness will not ever get the best of you physically. For we all know that this can happen. But it doesn’t mean it has to get the best of who you are, what you desire to do in life, and the lives you have a passion to touch. You do not have to succumb to illness to be the best U you can be.
I remember the news about the man who climbed Mt. Everest blind. This was a phenomenal feat! Not just to climb Mt. Everest, which few have done and many have lost their lives trying, but to do so blind was a remarkable testament to the human spirit! This man who climbed Mt. Everest, did not let his ailment cause his dreams and passions succumb to his illness. I’m sure he felt at times that this cannot be done; it’s never been done, and why even try. But his spirit within him, his motivation to accomplish a dream turned goal, was too big to stop. Like this man, you have to let your dreams and passions grow up on the inside of you so that the obstacles of life won’t cause you to succumb to your illness.
Maybe you have been diagnosed with a disability, have chronic pain, or maybe something more terminal like a late stage cancer, and you are thinking that it’s an excuse to not do your life. I say to you, that’s not good enough. You better think again and not let your motivation for life succumb to your illness. If you’ll let your dreams and passions grow up on the inside of you, you’ll find that there’s more to life than the condition that you’re in. You can be your best and live your live without succumbing to your illness.
Living at your Ideal weight. We all know people who want to lose weight, diet, and fit into pants 2 sizes less than they are. And all this is good. There’s nothing wrong with that. And yet, we’re all aware of those who also want to be 2 sizes less than what is a natural fit for them. Likewise, I also have realized in my life and clinical practice, that there are also people who would rather stay the size they are and not make the necessary changes to be the size they should be. Often I find that these are the people who feel that the matter of their size and shape are out of their control and that there’s nothing they can do about it. But I also find that these are people who have been through a lot of attempts to change their weight without much avail. They have tried everything, without anything seeming to work. I understand.
There’s balance. We ought to be motivated to live at the weight we’re supposed to be. In this place, there’s harmony in how our bodily systems function with one another. Living at our ideal weight is key to reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke—cancer. It’s also key to having the proper outward image, which does play a role, in part, with our inner confidence and self-esteem.
I often instruct patients in the concept of their BMI, which is Body Mass Index. BMI is Mass (or weight in kilograms)/Height (in meters2). A normal BMI is between 20-25. Between 25-30 is considered overweight. Above 30 is considered obese. Focusing on BMI helps to focus on what is ideal relative to your height. This can help people think realistically about their weight so that the emphasis is always about health rather than esthetics in this case.
Incorporating good habits. Maybe you are someone who eats poorly, smokes, and doesn’t exercise. That’s okay—this is not about getting down on you, but let’s go higher. You don’t have to stay here. There are studies that show that unhealthy dietary patterns, smoking, and inactivity can lead to morbidity and early mortality. This does not have to be you.
Be motivated to take steps to improve your life. Maybe its means one less cigarette a day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or only eating at your favorite fast food place once a week instead of two or three times a week. Whatever it is, you can make small changes to eventually get you where you want to be. Do not underestimate the power of small changes. You can do more by doing less. You can be empowered to improve your life one step at a time. This is something we all can handle. I call this the Littleton Principle—little changes can make a ton of difference.
When it comes to exercise, I’m known for recommending a routine that starts with a duration of only 5 minutes, 3 times a week. For example, go for a jog for only 5 minutes, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You may think that this is not enough time to make any difference in your health, but if you try it, you’ll see that it’s more about the intensity of your workout and not the duration. Once you master just getting out there and blocking out time to do your new routine, you can always add another 5 minutes. The key is being able to incorporate your exercise as a new habit and to continue doing so for the long run. You can do it! After all, it’s just 5 minutes!
Live your dream. You must be motivated to purse your dreams and to make the pursuit of them relevant with the care and keep of your mental and physical life. Chasing your dreams is a process. It takes time. So you are going to want to stay mentally inspired and focused, as well as physically healthy to see your goals to fruition.
I always put it this way. If two people are taking the same math test, person A is allotted 30 minutes and person B is allotted one hour; more than likely, person B will have a better chance of success just because he has more time to take the test. Likewise, when you are pursing your dreams, the longer you live, the more you can accomplish and achieve. I always encourage my patients to look at lifestyle change as a means to live longer to accomplish what matters most to you. When you do this, you’ll be and stay motivated to live longer and healthier to accomplish the dream in your heart.
Each day, go out and make little changes. Don’t be overwhelmed at difficulties that seem permanent. No, think higher! Keep your dream in front of you and see accomplishing your goals as worth everything to live for. When you do this, you’ll stay motivated, you’ll make changes to live longer, and you’ll live to be your best—in health and life!
For more health information and tips, go to DrJasonMD.com and follow me on Twitter (@DrJasonMD), Instagram (@DrJasonMD), Facebook (DrJason Littleton), and my other social media platforms. See you soon!