Maybe more than any other time in our lives, people are consciously focusing on their health. And, I think it’s about time!
What does the word health mean to you? Chances are you will answer “my body.” I’ve always been curious that the word “physical” always comes to mind when we say the word health. It’s why we eat right, why we work out, and why we take care of our bodies. We want to look great, not get sick, and live a long life. “Healthy” means all of that — and for most of us, saying we are “healthy” means our physical health.
But health is far more than that. Health is a trifecta. The physical part is only one-third of being truly healthy.
“It’s time to expand your focus on the word health. The Health Trifecta has three equally important parts: the physical, the spiritual, and the mental”
True success will only come with a daily focus on The Health Trifecta in its entirety. Yes, that is a bold claim. I love making bold claims! And, I can back this up.
I’m sure some of you are in great physical shape and feel successful at work. That’s the easy one. Now, also, some of you may focus on a rigorous spiritual practice and feel that’s all you need. Your spiritual body is sound, and you may put a priority on that. You may view your physical and mental well beings a distant 2nd and 3rd… And others could do serious internal, psychological work frequently and feel your mental and intellectual state is on point. The other two don’t matter as much. All of you are wrong.
Here’s the thing. The Health Trifecta is not an original thought that I created. And, you all know that. This is not the first time any of you have read what I’m saying. Pick up any book on being a successful human being; they will all reference The Health Trifecta in their own way.
So, then, my question to you: Why do you think everyone is wrong and you know better? That you’re doing just fine with the piece of trifecta to which you have mastered, and you are happy with your success? Why do you feel The Health Trifecta isn’t for you? What are you afraid of? LOL! Yup. I’ll repeat it; Why are you afraid to master each piece of The Health Trifecta? Because something is making you resist what you know is right.
“I am not challenging your level of success. I am challenging you to question why The Health Trifecta doesn’t apply to you.”
Today starts a 3 part series on how vital it is to live The Health Trifecta daily!
Good health is being intentional with three areas: the spiritual, the physical, and the mental. Again, this is The Health Trifecta. Good health is making sure that you focus on improving those areas daily.
“True health has three components. Good health is also like a muscle; the more you work on it, the stronger it gets!”
The stronger health gets, the more pressure it can take and can truly lift you. Without all three components, you will not be as strong — and as successful — as you could be with the sum of all three parts.
Make no mistake. This needs to be a conscious decision. I can guarantee most of you will carve out at least an hour many days of the week to focus on working out physically. Do you spend as much time on daily mental or spiritual rituals? I challenge you to be honest to yourself and ask WHY?
Look, I get it. It’s not in our culture to focus on spiritual and psychological needs. Some people even think it could be “weak” to do so that the only strength that matters is physical.
They are dead wrong. True strength comes from the combination of all three. And, I would argue that it is actually weak to not focus on those other components. Why? Because it’s harder. Working our bodies out is the easy part.
“I personally feel that working on these three areas — The Health Trifecta — is more important today than ever before with the amount of noise we have around us daily.”
I want you to be completely selfish with The Health Trifecta. I like to tell people I must take care of myself to give more of myself (And I know many people have enough of me. LOL). But, it’s true. Unless I focus on all aspects of my health, I will not be able to give to others. (Remember, The Give is the cornerstone of my entire mission.)
Think of it like a car; if you don’t change your oil, it’s going to break down. If you don’t fill your tank, you’re going to be in the middle of the road one day stranded. When I focus on my spiritual, mental, and physical health, my entire being is strengthened.
To maximize return, it’s imperative to put the same effort into all these buckets. Why? Because if one is leaking, the other two are struggling. What good is it if you have all the money in the world but are constantly sick and can’t get out of bed? What good is it if you’re physically fit, but internally you feel empty and lost (and will never admit it to anyone)? What good is it if you eat right, feel connected on a spiritual level, but you have some private internal demons that keep you up at night?
We will go through each piece of The Health Trifecta. Today, let’s start the series with the easy one: Physical.
I’ve always made physical activity a focus since I was in middle school. I excelled at sports but was typically the smallest dude on the field. While the size was against me, I was strong and could lift more than many bigger guys. I had the mentality that it’s not the dog's size in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog when I took the field. That gave me the confidence I need to take on anything…
As I grew into an adult, I kept focusing on my physical health. Then, I had a few kids and began to lose focus on the trifecta's physical side. I die laughing when I see pictures for the years I let myself go. I was certainly more lethargic and lost my focus. It shows. And, I look older than I do now!
After those few years of the departure of taking care of myself physically, I dove back and was rejuvenated. Unlike when I was young, I challenged myself to try physical activities I never thought I was able to accomplish. I went hard into the unknown. A Tough Mudder? Sure? Why not. It looks pretty intense, but at least I’ll try. A Spartan race? Could it be harder than the Tough Mudder? Let’s give it a shot! All of this certainly was a boost to my confidence.
The reality is when you take care of yourself, you feel good about yourself, and confidence rises. This time around, being physically fit, I honestly felt the confidence that I was re-igniting was the most powerful part.
How do you get back on this wagon if you fell off it? Take getting your physical fitness back on track like you would accomplish any other goal. Make SMART goals: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.
Get out a piece of paper and a pen—time to get to work. Write the 5 components of SMART down the length of the paper, giving yourself some room to brainstorm.
Specific: What does being physically fit mean to you? We all have different definitions of The Health Trifecta. Write down your thoughts. Does it mean losing weight? Does it mean having a set workout routine? Does it mean feeling physically strong or limber? Write down all of your goals here. Be as specific as you can. “I want to be able to look great at the beach this summer” is fine, but “I want to get back into my 34” pants by the summer” is better.
Measurable: Make a note of the vagueness of your goals. “Getting back to the gym” should be “Going to the gym 3x a week before work.” A great tool to measure progress is using clothes that you desire to fit into again. A friend of mine shared a story with me using this technique. She found it less restricting and less harsh than a scale or tape measure. Last year, she bought a pair of jeans that didn’t fit. She saved the jeans since her goal was to fit into them after six months of going to the gym and practicing yoga every morning. She intermittently tried them on to get a better idea of where she was along her journey. A week ago, she put them on, and they felt great; she knew she was achieving her goal. All measuring should do is collect data for you to track your success.
Achievable: Are these goals realistic? Sure, running a 10k this summer is definitely obtainable. But, if you still have a bad knee from years of playing sports when you are young, it may not be achievable. Start setting timelines. Start with 2 weeks first (a habit takes 14 days to make or break!). Then a month, 3 months, 6 months, a year. Fit your goals into these brackets and be honest with yourself. If it doesn’t make sense for you to run the 10k, what is a realistic, achievable goal to strive for?
Realistic: This is the other half of “achievable.” Let’s say you don’t have that old football knee issue. That 10K is achievable. But the plan you made of running for an hour M-F before work may not be realistic as you often have early morning meetings or have to deal with the kids. Be honest with yourself, so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Timely: Lastly, look at the time limits you put on your goals from above. Start being specific. The first 14-day goal is from Sunday, February 28, to Saturday, March 13. Your three-month plan will be March, April, and May. The 6-month plan is March-August. That 10K is July 24. Go on your calendars both on the wall and digitally, and start putting reminders in right now.
Lastly, don’t do this alone. Look around at your support network. Clearly, you aren’t the only one who has physical health on your mind. Create a fitness group with friends and make a fitness challenge. Challenge them to create the same SMART goals you did. Make it a contest with a monetary goal. Make a group on social media so you all can keep connected with progress and photos. Make a text chain to remind each other regularly. And lastly, find an accountability partner(s) in your network that shares your interests and holds your well-being to a higher standard.
Again, I started the series with the easy one: our physicality. In the next two weeks, though, I’m going to challenge you with the tougher two pieces of The Health Trifecta, which usually get pushed to the side or dismissed. Remember, each piece is as vitally important as the other.
Last tip: focusing on drinking water throughout the day — and not coffee and soda — is the quickest way to kickstart this new version of you. Take responsibility to research proper nutrition if that’s not your thing. Remember not to compare; everyone’s body has different needs. What works for the person next to you may not work for you.
It starts one day at a time. I challenge you to start the minute you finish reading this.
My mission is to help make you the high version of yourself. The only way to accomplish that is to commit to The Health Trifecta fully. You are ⅓ there.
Go forth and conquer!