365 Health Strategies: Thinking & Writing
March 4th

In regards to this week's virtue (Thinking and Writing), one of the most common problems I see in people who are less healthy than they could be is exactly the same problem that I frequently see in myself.  Let me explain (if you get this one right it could change your life).  It's commonly agreed that keeping records of anything will cause the thing in question to improve.  It's also widely agreed that a simple standing back from life occasionally will give perspective that allows for a more effective day. 

Last night I went outside to watch a lunar eclipse.  With that observation came an infusion of peace.  The act of looking at the sky takes me away from the planet and brings me a view point that looks down upon my life from a distance where the tiny details become blurred and the larger parts become clear.  This same perspective happens when I sit to write.  Writing, because of the introspection that happens, brings with it a more melancholy feeling than something like going to dinner or watching a movie.  Because of this side effect, most will avoid the exercise.  But, more severe, when writing, for most, comes the feeling of the need to make it perfect.  Don't even try.  Trying for perfect will make you nearly comatose.

The editor in you will gag and strangle the soul that wants to talk to you on paper.  If you would be healthier, buy a simple notebook that you can carry with you (I prefer the moleskin brand that I buy at Books-A-Million).  Then simply keep track of simple things that make a big difference.  Write the names of people you meet.  Draw a diagram of your life.  Keep track of your efforts on the 1,3,5 plan.  Use these daily strategies to guide your scripture reading and write down a line or two of thought (one reason I like the moleskin brand of journal is that it has a small pocket in the back in which you can keep your schedule and a printout of these strategies for the day or a spreadsheet of miles walked, etc.).

As you go inward and find a core of value, then the less important falls away and better mental and physical health appears.  King David wrote his prayers as the Psalms.  An easy way to pray is to simply write a little note to GOD in your book. Every week or so, make a list of everything you can think of for which you're grateful (write as fast as you can for about 5 minutes).  This list will become a prayer.

But, most importantly, don't try to make it perfect.  Keep the editor and the echo from your 5th grade English teacher silenced and simply write. 

__ Deuteronomy 31-34

__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked _____

__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables: actual amount _____

__ Virtue: Thinking & Writing:  Spend daily time reading and observing.  Then write your thinking.

The purpose of these daily strategies

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Charles Runels, MD
Charles Runels, MD