CREATION Life Template: A Look at Choice
By Dr. Adelaide Durkin, DNP, MS, RN, CNE, DipACLM
In our inaugural Holistic Health Corner, we strived to make a case for the positive impact that an academic environment can have on a person’s health.1 In the second article, we introduced a framework that has been used at Kettering College to present principles for healthful living with a faith-based perspective that is supported by the latest evidence: the CREATION Life model. 2 This article focuses on the first letter in the Creation Life template acronym: Choice. Choice has been defined as …”the power to control your life.” 3
In the Scriptures, the ability to choose is a free gift granted by our Creator. When properly exercised, this gift can be a source of intrinsic motivation that has been associated with positive physical and psychological outcomes, whereas lack of choice can result in negatively affecting a person’s outcomes and well-being. 4
Whether we are aware or not, We make thousands of choices each day. Although hard to quantify, we make over 35,000 decisions a day according to Dr. Eva Krockowa researcher on the topic.5
Choice begins in our frontal lobe where our judgment and planning of our actions begins.3 “Thus actions repeated form habits, habits character, and by the character our destiny.” 6 Thus choice is a foundational ingredient for our overall health and well-being. I would like to highlight a few tips to support your efforts in enlisting Choice as your ally in your health journey:
Write your health vision
Some people can quickly state what their health vision is, but others need some time to reflect before they can write it down. You may place your vision in a place where you can see it often and can serve as a source of inspiration for choices that will help support this vision. Some individuals find it helpful to complete a self-assessment tool that helps to highlight their areas of need.
Ultimately, you are the expert on yourself and can choose which areas you want to include in your vision and focus on. There are many validated tools that you can use, and others are more qualitative in nature but still give you some good information on areas of needs. Here are some examples of assessment tools I have used in my health promotion course:
· Health Promotion Lifestyle Profile by Nola Pender
Focus on one thing at a time. Small changes can make a huge difference. Positive changes in one area of your life can motivate positive changes in other areas.
“Consistently making wise decisions is key to becoming the person you were created to be.”3
Surround yourself with supportive people
This can be a family member, a friend, a coach, your provider, or even an app on your phone. Seek an accountability partner.
Celebrate your successes in a healthful way
For instance, reward yourself with experiences that support your vision and not with those that will set you back or that contradict your vision.
Connect with the Power Source
Faith and a sense of purpose have been shown to promote better health outcomes. The Bible provides us with many principles that support healthful choices including the way you see yourself (Psalm 139; Ephesians 2:10) or the way you should treat your body temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), moderation even when consuming good things (Proverbs 25:27; 1 Corinthians 10:31). In fact, having control over your life choices is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
As we will soon enter the holiday season, perhaps the opportunities for making choices about how to spend your time, energy, and resources will increase. Remember you can exercise your God-given gift in a way that supports the vision you have for yourself. With so many temptations in our environment to get us sidetracked from our goals, it may take some mindfulness and intentionality when planning for the holidays. On the other hand, the holidays offer opportunities to focus on the blessings that we have or the good times we experienced in the past and to reflect on how we want our future to be. The Choice is yours.
Article Highlight: Eight tips for celebrating without sabotaging by the Mayo Clinic
Plant-based Holiday Recipes: Holiday Recipes by Forks over Knives
- Serving and Living in Harmony https://kc.edu/serving-and-living-in-harmony/
- Self-Care for Whole-Person Health https://kc.edu/self-care-for-whole-person-health/
- CREATION Life (n.d.) Choice https://www.creationlife.com/choice/
- CREATION Life (2019, July 23) Choose Life https://blog.creationlife.com/choose-life/
- Krockow, E. How Many Decisions Do We Make Each Day? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stretching-theory/201809/how-many-decisions-do-we-make-each-day
- White, E. () The One Talent Christ Object Lessons pp. 356 paragraph 2. White Estate