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Turning New Year’s Resolutions into Health Goals Using Structural Tension

I thought it would be fun to turn your New Year’s Resolutions into Health Goals using the Take Shape For Life program tool called “Structural Tension”.

Structural Tension was created by Robert Fritz who is a close friend and colleague of Dr. A. This topic is covered in Chapter 3 in “The Habits of Health” and in Chapters 5 & 6 of “Living A Longer Healthier Life”.

Structural Tension eliminates the need for problem solving.

  • keeps our “Motivation for Change” focused on what we want, “rather than “what we don’t want”
  • It allows us to position our goals in a structure that supports them.
  • It gives us direction on how to get from where we are “Our Current Reality” to where we want to go, “Our Desired Outcome”.

Having a structure to follow, we also need to understand the Choices we make to reach our goals. There are 3 types of Choices we focus on.

  • Fundamental Choice – it’s the foundation that supports your highest goals. The Choice for Optimal Health
  • Primary Choice– what you want more than anything else, Healthy Weight, Active Lifestyle, etc.
  • Secondary Choices – the action steps taken to support primary choice. Not necessary what you want to do but what you choose to do to reach your goals.

We want to remember that goals need to be written so that they are:

  • Specific with a time frame, for example, “I will have great aerobic stamina in 12 months”.
  • Focus is on Creating Health and not problem solving,  ex: “I am able to walk for 30 minutes and talk to my friend the whole time” as opposed to “ I will not be short of breath while walking “.
  • Make sure your describing the event and not the process  “ I have a lean, toned body” vs. “ I will lift weights 3 days a week”

One of my clients was 148 lbs, 5 ft tall , had a BMI of 29, and a waist size of 36″ when she made the  decision to get healthy.

Primary Choice:

  • Healthy Weight: 122lbs
  • BMI: 24
  • Waist Circumference: 30”

Secondary Choices:  These are things I don’t necessarily want to do but choose to do because I want the outcome.
Timeline – Three Month Goal To Reach Healthy Weight:
1. Eat every 2-3 hours  _______90 days ________
2. Drink 64 oz. of water a day  ______   60 days
3. Follow the 5&1  _______
4. Exercise 45 minutes a day   after first 3 weeks _____________
5. Call my Health Coach every Monday   _____30 days ___
6. Weigh and take measurements weekly    __________________

Current Reality:

  • Weight: 148lbs
  • BMI: 29
  • Waist Circumference: 36”

Please remember to call your health coach to turn all your New Year’s Resolutions into your health goals for 2013.

By Marsha Hildebrand, RN.

*All information was taken from Dr A’s Habits of Health and Living A Longer Healthier Life

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