Creating a Path for Sustainable Life-Change

As is commonplace with this time of year, people have bought into the idea of changing some aspect of their lives. Whether that be their diet, their careers, or moral behaviors they are eagerly looking to improve their lives. I would make the case that most of us are going about creating this change in the wrong manner. In the next few moments I aim to provide a different perspective for pursuing change. The premise of this article is based on the work of Mr. David Bowden at Spoken Gospel.

Perhaps the most common area of change for our time is the infamous diet change. Striving to change the way we eat for one reason or another. May it be to lose weight, to lower blood pressure, increase heart health or all of the above, I can assure you the path you are taking is doomed from the beginning. Right now, you are possibly questioning my sanity or thinking I am simply a man full of myself. I approach this topic not having mastered change, but seeing truth and hoping to apply it. In the next few moments, I hope to show you a better approach to change and prove neither of your assumptions about me are true.

In this article, I will focus primarily on examples of dietary change, but the principles easily transfer to any other type of life change. Some of the most common approaches to implementing dietary change focus on different forms of deprivation tactics. We withhold certain foods in an effort to shed pounds or inches. We blindly assume if we starve out the bad and flood our bodies with the good, then positive change will occur. I would alter the statement to say temporary positive change might occur.

If we take this to an extreme, one might avoid any place where these foods are commonly known to exist. So one might avoid the donut shop, or your favorite comfort food restaurant. While this might make sense at the time, the effort is placed in the wrong place which results in very little lasting, positive change.

If we are seeking to truly weed out unhealthy eating habits or behaviors we must take the proper steps to create lasting change. We eat certain foods because we love them an emotional ty to a food or we believe they are what we love. They fill us with joy or provide us comfort. Simply depriving ourselves of the foods we love is unlikely to last in the longterm. Our unconscious-self will seek out our true affections. It is only a matter of time before our will breaks and our heart gets what it wants.

So if we chose not to use these common tactics, what do we use? I would say the best chance we have at sustainable dietary change is to slowly change the dietary affections of our heart.