Self-assessment and life plans

Following up on my comments about health and risk, the next question about personal health assessment-- regardless of how you scored on the tests-- is, “what are you going to do about it?”

This is where
a recent post from Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, is very helpful. Michael gives a concise yet complete guide for creating a “Life Plan” which is a self-assessment of how things are in your life, how you want them to be, and how you will get from one to the other.

For example, Michael talks about assessing his own health-- which he is generally happy with (Michael has completed two half-marathons in the past 18 months, so he’s in pretty decent health)-- and where his concerns are. He says:

here’s what I wrote a couple of weeks ago in my Health account: • I feel great. My stamina is great. It's been a long time since I have been sick. • I feel good about my weight and my overall fitness. • I am running (or cross-training) four days a week for at least 60 minutes. • I am not presently doing any strength training. I am concerned this will eventually catch up with me. • I am eating pretty well, but I could be more consistent in choosing more healthy foods.I would share more, but, frankly, it’s too personal.

Michael has a lot of good report of what he learned from doing his life plan, and he even offers a basic template you can download for creating one of your own.

I think this is a solid idea; whether it is related to health, family life, career, church and ministry involvement, or other areas of life, most of us don’t put enough thought and reflection into what lies ahead-- or how easy it will be to get there. Thanks, Michael, for giving us some great food for thought.

Health and risk

I’ve got something of an awful family history health-wise, with Diabetes coming down from one side of my family tree and heart disease/attacks coming from both; add to that the prominence of things like breast cancer (my mother and her mother both had it) and Lupus (my grandmother and one other relative), and suddenly Marcie is justifiably anxious about my health and longevity.

Which is why I was very interested to find this set of risk-assessment quizzes from the School of Medicine of Washington University in St. Louis, in partnership with Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Research Center. It offers a brief but comprehensive quiz that will assess your degree of risk for Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Osteoperosis, and twelve types of Cancer.

I’ve worked through a handful of them, and I’m pleased with my results:
  • Diabetes = below average risk
  • Heart disease = much below average
  • Stroke = below average
  • Prostate Cancer = below average
  • Lung Cancer = much below average

Keep in mind, all this quiz can do is assess what degree you are “at risk” for these health issues. A clean or encouraging word from this helpful site is great, but it doesn’t excuse you from attending to your body’s health needs through exercise, dietary discipline, and keeping stress and anxiety levels in check.

That’s why I especially appreciate that, when they return your quiz results, they also include suggestions for how to improve your scores, as well as buttons that answer questions such as, “what makes up my risk?” and “what does my risk mean?” Beyond the basic quiz results, these folks offer a surprising amount of information in an interactive, semi-personalized format.

Baby news

Many of you know that we are expecting twins in late fall.

You may NOT know that we visited the doctor today and had an ultrasound. Both babies are healthy and right on track for growth and development.

And, it turns out, both are girls.

A quick update

For those who didn't know, I've been pretty sick the last couple of days: Tuesday afternoon I started feeling something coming, and I spent all day Wednesday laying on the couch, feeling miserable. Yesterday was better, but I was still fairly weak. I either have a really bad cold or a mild case of flu.

Thanks to so many of you who have called or e-mailed to wish me well; I am feeling much better today, though I'm still congested and feeling a little feverish. At this pace, I feel like I should be at 90% or better by Sunday. Please keep praying!