How Your Personality Affects Your Health Goals

   Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Let’s take a quiz shall we?

  1. Did you expect your Mom and Dad to complete your homework?
  2. Did your “mean” parents not allow you to watch television until you accomplished your chores?
  3. Did “Some Assembly Required” drive you bonkers, but stubborn and determined you finally got it right?!
  4. Or did you give up and let someone else complete that bookshelf?
  5. Were you the first to finish projects so you could have bragging rights?
  6. Did you procrastinate, waiting until the last-minute to finish anything?
  7. Think back to high school:  a.  Did you join many clubs? or b. join only to quit when you got bored?

To quote one of my favorite sayings of a Jesuit priest, “Show me the boy at 7 and I’ll show you the man he will become.” Oh, our wonderful formative years! What you were like as a child stays within you.

The above personality examples typify profiles of many patients I’ve worked with.

Now how did you do?

#1. Personal responsibility is a foreign concept. At work, someone else can pick up the slack . . .  eventually. There’s always someone else to do your work.  You’ll start a diet on January 2nd and quit by the third week.

If 2. Now you’re in charge of your life and freedom is intoxicating! You’re a rebel and can do whatever you wish! That includes eating whatever you want. You have a desire to succeed but why give up freedom for more hassle? You infrequently reach goals.

3.  You’re analytical, needing proof.  How does this plan work? You’ll question, dissect and figure out how it’ll be successful before wasting your time or money. In weight loss it’s the counselor’s job is to educate you on the first visit or else.  Once you commit, you’re determined to finish what you started. You’re a, “Mom I can do it myself!” personality.

4.  If circumstances become too complicated, it’s easier to give up. That includes marriage, employment, gym membership or weight loss. You need to establish “small goals to reach goals” so you won’t feel like a failure when large goals aren’t met. Two steps backward but five steps ahead.

5.  Competitive, you make life a game. Always striving for short-term goals to makes life interesting, you’ll join a sports team or gym to be the best there. However since you have perfectionist standards, life sometimes becomes an “all or nothing” encounter.  Competitive, you might be the heaviest in the crowd because of you desire to be #1! “I can out eat you! Just watch!”

6.  Procrastinators never seem to find an ideal time to begin.  There’s always a special party or a wedding coming up. “I’ll start next week” and of course next week never comes. A procrastinator usually fears failure, rejection, sets unrealistic goals or needs stimulation to meet deadlines.

7.  a. If you joined and stuck it out, your word is your bond. You value your principles and reach goals.  If b. then you’ll quit everything you begin. On a diet plan, you’re always searching for another quick fix. No one holds you accountable. Beware!  Learn to hold yourself accountable, developing self-discipline. Quitting does nothing for an ego except defeat it.

You’re probably a combination of the above personalities. But understand, Satan wants us to feel defeated, wants us to say, “Well, that’s the way God made me so I guess I’m stuck.” Pity party! Conquer any characteristics that aren’t advantageous. Start today! You’re worth it to God.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 

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7 thoughts on “How Your Personality Affects Your Health Goals

  1. I’d say I most relate to #6 and #7 [both a and b]. You’re right on, Ellie. I have struggled with fear of failure/rejection as well as lacking self-discipline. But that’s changing now! Thanks for this post; it’s full of hope. I won’t be letting the enemy take me down! 🙂

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    • Fear of failure can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The longer we prograstinate the more we tend to believe we can’t do something or we’re not good enough, right? Taking hold of that fear (Phil. 4:13) and thinking it through to it’s logical conclusion (like what’s truly the worst that can happen and then realizing it won’t) taking baby steps, will build trust in ourselves like a muscle.

      I know you can succeed! Please let me know of your future accomplishments and I’ll be praying for your strengthing will! I always enjoy your comments, thanks.

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  2. That analysis is quite accurate, at least in my case.
    – I am the analytical type that wants to know how things work.
    – I tend to procrastinate, until the looming deadline inspires me to work 🙂
    – I did not join many clubs because I did not want to quit later.

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  3. Hi Abraham, Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you are all well!!

    Your self-analysis doesn’t surprise me at all. I find runners are very disciplined, goal oriented and possessing high standards for themselves and those around them. I suspect you only prograstinate because you don’t want to jeopardize those high standards. It took me years to finish my degree because I didn’t want to jeopardize my 4.0 average. How foolish of me to be afraid, in essense, of life.Now I strive for excellence, not perfection as I’m sure you do now as well. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate you.

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  4. I am so much a #5. Even when I was little (preschool age), I always made my bed right away and got dressed rightr away. When my Mom said, “Okay, time to go get dressed and make your bed” I always bragged that mine was done. Do it now, that’s my philosophy. Also, so much a perfectionist, all or nothing. If I can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

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    • Interesting Terri, thank you for your comment.

      Question: do you also feel that God uses only the perfect people for His purpose or “why bother”? It’s a good thing He doesn’t, or we’d think we could never be used by God. Sometimes it’s only by failing that we learn how to succeed. (I also seeked approval from a parent for the longest time and never felt I was good enough, even as an overachiever in high school.) What we learn as a child stays with us. Talking ourselves into valuing ourselves is tough but doable and it’s that tough road that makes us stronger. You can do it too!

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