Health and Well-being Mindset:
The Secret to Living Well

The Mindset of health and well-being is greatly impacted by our mind and spirit so we cannot ignore those two components. Because I did not discuss this facet of the mind in the section on the mind, I will briefly do so here. 

At the bottom of this page you will also have an opportunity to share your experiences. Whether you feel you need more coaching or not, you still have valuable things to share with the community. Knowledge and experiences you have be they music that motivates, calms, or focuses, mantras that uplift and keep you going, exercises that are practical and simple to do, books that are recommended, recipes that are nutritious and easy to prepare especially for families, breathing techniques, or a host of other experiences and knowledge around health and well-being will help all of us. You can be a mentor by simply sharing and helping this community grow.

Health and Well-being Mindset and the Power of Beliefs 

Our health and well-being is tremendously influenced by our beliefs, which is why placebos can instigate improved health. Norman Cousin’s classic book The Power of Positive Thinking is full of anecdotal stories around the power of positive thinking - a mindset of wellness - as related to healing and your health and well-being.

One of the first steps in my coaching process is to have people do a belief inventory related to their health and well-being. We need to discover what your current mindset of wellness is. The process is fairly straight forward. You simply begin to list things you believe around that topic. Write them down in this manner: I believe… and then go on to the next.

When you have exhausted your list walk away for a few minutes and come back adding a few more. Walk away one more time and come back and add a few more.  Once you have the list you need to rank the list putting the things you are most sure of at the top. Often, they are some of the ones that came to you last because those are the most unconscious of your beliefs. 

It is important to note that you should do this for each area of your life. Your mindset of health and well-being as well as all of your other mindsets are fluid and are not necessarily the same for each area of your life or even in the different parts of the arch of mindsets that go into supporting each area. You may have a growth mindset or a mindset of a champion in your personal life, but not your professional life or vice versa. Your mindset of wellness may also be different for the other areas of your life. The four areas of your life again are personal, professional, civic, and spiritual. You would want to do this belief inventory for each area and the different components – faith, faithfulness, family, friendships, finances, your mind, your body, your spirit.

Our objective would be to get you to have a mindset of health and well-being in each area of your life. By teaching you what goes into the mindset, giving you tools to develop those traits, and the strategies for activating the mindset to achieve your desires you can begin the journey. For some the journey will be longer than others. My only response to that – and a response that has come from experience and wisdom – is that some people need to be tested by patience more than others. Just remember the truth of the adage all good things come to those who wait.

Once you have your hierarchy of beliefs, analyzing those beliefs and determining which are supportive of your health and well-being and which are not would be a powerful next step. As an example, suppose you are a male whose father, grandfather, and great grandfather all died of heart disease before the age of 50 and you therefore developed the belief that it was genetic and you would likely have heart disease and die before the age of 50. Whether that is genetic or not is irrelevant to the point of this exercise. The belief does not help you. You would benefit far more by having the belief that heart disease is far more influenced by life-style factors than genetics. If that is true, it becomes important to understand that we can take control of what we believe.

We can change our beliefs by thinking and reasoning. We can become knowledgeable and learn facts while trying to determine truth. We also can change our programming. To repeat, our brain codes information by using various submodalities of images, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes. Smells are a profoundly powerful mood or state changer. For many of us visual imagery is more powerful than sound or feelings. For your brain to interpret something as true it codes it differently than something it holds as false. That is how your brain recognizes the difference. You can change that coding by changing the submodalities attached to it. One of the simplest yet most powerful ways of doing this is called an NLP Swish Pattern

For those who have not read all the pages on this site, this story bears repeating. When I first learned this technique from Tony Robbins book Unlimited Power, I had to test the process. At that time in my life I gagged on tomatoes. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t eat a tomato without reflex gagging. I had the perfect opportunity to test the swish pattern. I did the swish pattern picturing myself eating tomatoes, but I had made the picture have the same submodalities as one of my favorite foods – maybe pizza, I don’t really remember. After finishing, I went into the kitchen and got a tomato out. My mother was in there and she obviously knew I used to gag on tomatoes and I took a tomato out of the refrigerator and bit into it with no gag reflex. Decades later, I love and eat tomatoes. 

To do this pattern with a belief you simply create an image of something you want to believe and that is the picture that goes in the lower right hand corner of your mind and you picture the belief you want to change – dying an early death of heart disease – which is the main picture in your mind, and you blow the little one up breaking through the old one and taking on all the submodalities of the old belief.

Submodalities include things like color or black & white, movie or photograph, the brightness, the size, the contrast, whether you are in or out of the picture, the angle you are viewing it from to name a few. You want all those characteristics for the new picture to be the same as the pictures of things you believe to be true. The content of the new picture would be something like you running or hiking at ninety years old or whatever clearly shows heart disease was not in your DNA. This is a very quick and powerful technique.

Health and Well-bing Mindset and the Benefits of Mindfulness

The other aspect of the mind that gets a great deal of attention today is the idea of mindfulness. According to Psychology Today, “mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. This state encompasses observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. To live mindfully is to live in the moment and reawaken oneself to the present, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness can also be a healthy way to identify and manage latent emotions that are causing problems in personal or professional relationships.” Essentially, in terms of creating a mindset of wellness you want to build into your daily routine a time and place where you can be still, reflect, relax, and let go. It really can be a deeply spiritual and religious practice. In our training curriculum a we spend considerable time on this in our Spirit of a Champion training. Our curriculum is purposefully interconnected and training all the mindsets of the arch also works on training your mindset around your health and well-being.

I believe Christians and Jews for a few thousand years had a habit of doing mindfulness or meditation in their daily prayers. Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and know that I am God.” Meditation and prayer have been part of eastern and western practices far longer than we have moved away from those ideas. The modern industrial world has taken much of the blame for this lost art. There are many different suggestions on exactly what to do, so I will let you do your own homework on that, but I will say you really should practice mindfulness, meditation, or prayer. Regularly.

Health and Well-being Mindset: Nutrition

Filling vast amounts of book shelfs in any library or book store, nutrition and the proper feeding of the human body is an undeniably important part of maintaining health and building a positive mindset around your health and well-being. While I have not formally studied nutrition in any school, I have read numerous books on the subject and have weened some basic principles. First, the more natural or whole foods you can consume the better. Simply put, the more stages food goes through in its processing the more of its vital nutrients are lost.

Second, learn to listen to your body. Not everyone has the same digestive abilities, so becoming aware how some foods make you feel is important. Sometimes an elimination diet becomes important to consider. Elimination diets can help pin point possible food allergies or other food related health challenges.

It isn’t always the foods we eat, but sometimes it is the combinations of foods we eat. For some people combining proteins and starches in the same meal is very difficult on digestion. Listening to your body is a great skill to develop.

Thirdly, be aware, mindful, of your portion sizes. A general recommendation is for men to have two palm sized portions of protein with each meal while women would have one. Men would have two fist sized portions of vegetables while women would have one with each meal. For carbohydrates men would have two cupped hand sized portions while women would have one with most meals. Men would have two thumb sized portions of healthy fats with most meals while women would have one. This is a great general guideline for portions.

Fourth, eat slowly to about 80% full. When you begin to feel satisfied – stop eating.

Fifth, be aware of caloric beverages. You would be amazed at how many calories and unhealthy sugars you consume in your beverages – even “healthy” juices.

Sixth, everything in moderation. Be aware and don’t over indulge. If you follow these general guidelines routinely, you will be far healthier than most people and for many of you probably healthier than you are today.

You probably intellectually already knew much of what I just said regarding nutrition. It is widely published today, so the real question is how do you make it part of your lifestyle? How do you get it to be part of your health and well-being mindset?

One of the issues begins with your living situation. If you are living alone, you can begin to make the executive decision yourself to rid your dwelling from highly processed, sugary, mass produced junk food. Taking the bull by the horn and just doing it is the first step. If you are living with your family, you obviously have others to consider. Getting them on board would be an enormous advantage. If they aren’t on board or are only partially onboard, you will have to make some harder decisions about what foods you can’t have in the house and what foods can be but maybe they are stashed out of the way. This is where communication and yes – operating from a mindset of love – is invaluable. The next aspect of this lifestyle change is actually planning the meals and shopping. 

Health and Well-being Mindset:
Managing Responsibilities Around Your Wellness

One thing the modern world seems to have either forgotten or has de-emphasized is the amount of time, energy, and work it is to efficiently and effectively manage a “business” with four members and a sizable annual income. You want to really get a handle on just what responsibilities should be done on a regular basis begin to make a list.

Grocery shopping

Preparing meals

Cleaning up after meals


House cleaning

Yard cleaning

Medical appointments

Auto repairs.

Household maintenance

Quality time with children

Quality time educating or following up with children’s educational needs

Disciplining Children

Time with spouse

General errands

Leisure time/Recreation time

And so on…

You get the idea. Then make a list of other responsibilities each of the household leaders have. What about civic responsibilities – school boards, planning boards, church groups, coaching youth sports, other community organizations you may belong to. What about professional responsibilities – work expected outside of “office time” (overtime for hourly workers), conferences and business trips. What about spiritual responsibilities – time for not only your own spiritual needs and obligations but those of the other members of your family, church, synagogue, mosque, and don’t forget holidays.

Everyone only gets 168 hours in a week to work with. If you are sleeping 56 hours a week, which is vitally important for your health and well-being, you now only have 112 hours per week. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you are a male of that 112 hours 41 on average is spent working, while for a woman 36 is spent working. Which means there is only between 71 and 76 hours per week or about 10 hours per day to do everything else on your lists.

One of the things that too often gets a low priority is planning, preparing, and having family meals. This becomes especially true as children get closer to and into high school. What happens to many families is trying to provide healthy meals “on the fly” actually ends up leading to more processed foods. There are two factors that began in the 1960s and 1970s that have contributed greatly to a fatter and unhealthier population. First, we can see from a PEW Research Center study that the percentage of families with both parents working began a steady increase beginning in 1960. With both parents working, there is simply less hours (36 – 41) per week that can be used for tasks including planning and preparing meals. Ultimately, this is a mindset issue. It is not part of your health and well-bing mindset. 

The other factor was the government getting involved in our food industry by making dietary recommendations. In so doing, they influenced dramatic changes. Because the government recommends something, many corporations and non-profit organizations feel obligated to follow their lead for a variety of reasons, which is not limited to liability concerns. The end result was a dietary change to a high carbohydrate (sugar) diet that correlates closely with the rise in obesity and obesity related health issues in this country. One other factor that will be looked at is the increasingly sedentary life especially among children.

The bottom line is if you want to improve your health and well-being as well as the health and well-being of your family you need to take back the time – the time to plan, shop, and prepare meals. You need this to be part of your health and well-being mindset.

Fortunately, the modern world is also providing help. There are companies that help by providing meal kits which deliver to your door fresh food with recipes properly portioned that you can much more quickly prepare. Of course, it does come with a cost. There are numerous companies that provide this service but four I will share with you are Blue ApronFresh MealHome Chef, and FreshDirect. If this type of service doesn’t fit your budget, there is still help.

Most local grocery chains and of course Walmart and Whole Foods now offer online shopping and either store pick-up and or delivery service. You can shop on-line at your convenience and schedule pick-up at a time that works best for you. It is a time saver. You still need to plan your meals but you can shop on-line in the evening after the kids have gone to bed or early in the morning or on a break at work. You have much more flexibility.

There is even a company called emeals that not only provides a variety of healthy recipes for every day of the week, but it also provides a convenient shopping app. This is a subscription service that can also be a great time saver. I used them for a year and found it very helpful at first. I did find, though, that I didn’t use all their meal plans and I stopped using their shopping app because I found myself using our local grocer more often. After one year, I canceled, but I now have a binder full of a year’s worth of recipes and along with my Gourmet Nutrition cookbooks as well as other recipes. I have no problems planning my meals. My wife also had no problem letting me take control of that part of our lives and I enjoy it.

Health and Well-being Mindset and the Importance of Physical Fitness

The next factor in creating a health and well-bing mindset is being physically fit. While rock hard abs and sculpted bodies may be the goal for some, they really are not the ultimate goal for the vast majority of people.

For most people, the goal of being fit should be all about movement. You want to be able to move easier through a full range of motion so you can do normal physical activities with less fatigue over longer durations and with less chance of being injured. This becomes especially true as we age.

Fitness can slow the aging process and make it more likely that you can minimize the likelihood of becoming elderly or at least delaying some of the issues associated with being elderly, well into your eighties or nineties. Your ability to get up out of a chair, climb stairs, do basic household chores or simple yard work, walk any reasonable distance, and maintain your balance are things many of us take for granted when we are young, but as we age we appreciate those simple tasks that can become quite difficult if we are not fit.

Being fit would include your cardiovascular fitness as well as your neuromuscular system. You want to not only be able to move oxygen efficiently through your system with strong heart and lungs, but you also want the strength, flexibility, and balance to be active and relatively pain free well into your senior years. To achieve that requires work – the actual scientific definition of work. You need to move and move “weight” through a full range of motion. Weight can be a misleading term because it does not have to be going to a gym and lifting dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells. It can include using your own body weight or the tension from surgical tubing. The idea is simply to work your muscles. If you don't have a health and well-being mindset it will be much harder to build the habits of wellness into your life.

There are lots of great personal trainers and books with all kinds of exercises. What I will give you here is simply a simple core group of exercises you can do with minimal weight or even just using your own body weight that can and will do wonderful things for your fitness. Many of you will have a goal of losing weight. These simple exercises along with eating healthy and following the rule of eating slowly to 80% full on a consistent basis will lead to a healthier and more fit body.

What are these exercises? Depending on your fitness level your cardio workout could include running, swimming, walking, biking, rowing to name a few. You do not have to necessarily go to a gym. Walking, jogging, or running anyone can do with minimal investment – a good pair of shoes is really all you would want. For those who live in a more urban area, you probably have access to a YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club or even a public-school pool. If so, swimming would be a great option. After that, some of the most basic exercises would involve the pushuppull upsit upsquat, and deadlift. It is important for you to see your doctor before you start any workout program.

Again, learning to do exercises and getting an exercise program established specifically for you are two different things. You can develop a great exercise routine that will improve your mobility, strength, and flexibility without needing a personal trainer, fancy gym equipment or a gym membership. Building the health and well-being mindset will build the habit which will cause you to beat the odds and become successful.

Part of our health and well-being training will focus on your fitness basics and build in habit forming assignments, but it will not train you for sport specific movements nor will it be uniquely tailored to your specific needs. If you have an injury history it may also not be appropriate for you to do some of the fitness recommendations in the course. A simple investment in some dumbbells and shoveling sand into a duffle bag can be all you need to make these movements give you more strength, balance, and muscle tone.

I have yet to mention balance and flexibility. You need to work at both throughout your life. I was never a flexible person and when I was competing had to work at it regularly to maintain my flexibility. When I stopped competing and let my fitness deteriorate my flexibility, balance, and mobility all deteriorated. When I finally begin an exercise program, I not only began to lose weight but more importantly my stamina, strength, range of motion and flexibility all improved. I didn’t even have a regular stretching routine although now I do – a yoga routine. I have become a believer in yoga for balance, motion, flexibility, and toning muscles. Kokoro yoga is a favorite of mine. Regardless of what you preferences are in terms of fitness, the belief that you must be fit is built into a health and well-being mindset.

Health and Well-being Mindset: Rest, Recovery, and Your Well-being

Sleep like a baby. That adage has tremendous symbolism. It really encompasses this final component. The final component of a wellness mindset and maintaining your health and well-being is rest and recovery. Rest does mean both resting your muscles and resting your mind. Hopefully, as you develop habits around your mindfulness and spiritual needs you learn to spend time resting your mind.

As a Christian, I am beginning to learn why God wants us to pray. Praying is not simply about asking God or talking to God. It may be as much about learning to listen to God. Becoming aware, I believe is something we lost in the modern western world that was in integral part of a Christians prayer life. It is what is now being called mindfulness, but mindfulness leaves out God and that relationship with a higher power. In the Christian worldview that higher power is the source of love, light (enlightenment), and our creative force. Learning to listen to him is restful.

Recovery does not necessarily mean no movement. In fact, I would advocate moving every day but on recovery day a slow walk and simple swim in the pool, or casual bike ride, or hike in the mountains, woods, or along a beach are all great ways to recover. Connecting with nature has amazing benefits. It is part of a health and well-being mindset.

Lastly, I must mention sleep. You must sleep. It is crucial to get approximately eight hours of sleep every day. I cannot emphasize this enough. The research and the experience I have had with children and families who do not sleep enough tells me our society has a serious problem - a health and well-being mindset will help solve that problem. Get unplugged. Do yourself and your children a favor and do not allow televisions, or phones in their bedroom. This is one area we did well on when my children were young and not so well on as they got into high school.

The bedrooms should be a place of relaxation or possibly school work and not a place for gaming, television watching, and an electronic center. I understand a bedroom can be the private domain for your child where they want to be alone. That is great. Let it be a place where they can be alone to think, read, write, and possibly listen to music but not a place to game, watch television and stream, and you also need to really watch phone usage and computer usage in-terms of social media and surfing the net. All of this has lots of negative possibilities and interrupting sleep patterns is only part of it. I highly, highly, highly recommend to parents that they read these two books: Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids - and How to Break the Trance and Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and DreamsIf you sign up for my on-line training these books are required reading.

Health and Well-bing Mindset:
Growth Mindset Training Academy Curriculum

Training mindsets, training champions is what we are all about. Training a health and well-being mindset of course is one of our trainings, but it works best in concert with all the other trainings. Before working on building a mindset of wellness or any other mindset we strongly recommend the personal breakthrough training

As far as our training programs, to give incentive to do the entire training curriculum we offer dramatic savings for families, teams, or organizations. The best value by far for doing that is to register for our Growth Mindset Training Academy curriculum. The course on Training a Health and Well-being Mindset has 54 lessons that will train your mindset in a way that will help your health and well-being in ways you can’t currently understand. It is thorough, will provide structure, accountability, all the while training you to take control of how you think about your health and well-being. Besides training a mindset of wellness, you will learn strategies and learn to apply strategies to help you take charge of your health and well-being. All the courses work together to create the mindset of a champion. Champions handle the adversities of life. You can’t become a champion without having the mindset of a champion and one vital component of that is having a health and well-being mindset.

Healing Mindset: Health, Healing, and Disease

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