A String Around Your Finger

A String Around Your Finger

Deut 6:8-9 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

Sometimes, when I decide to fast for a day, I’ll catch myself eating lunch and then mid mouth full—I remember, “Oh! I’m supposed to be fasting today.”

Or, I decide in the morning to live with peace and thoughtfulness, and then, in the afternoon, suddenly, I’m looking down from the ceiling wondering at the mad man who is losing his temper over something better overlooked.

So, GOD says, wear things on your body and put messages on the place where you work and live to remind you of your resolution. Sometimes, even in remembering, I’ll still do the thing I know to not be best for me; but, often, just the remembering is enough to slow me down to take the happier and healthier path.

So, now when I decide to fast, I’ll put on a ring, a bracelet, or a necklace to remind me of the resolution to do or not do a certain thing. I’ve even done the proverbial, “tie a string around my finger” except I usually tie it around my wrist or ankle so it’s less noticeable and only cut it off when I break the fast or skip the walk or whatever other resolution I’ve made (since I’m never perfect, but the reminder makes me better).

One purpose of the wedding ring is exactly as described in Deuteronomy–to remind us and others of promises made.

Things like the Ora Ring and the iWatch can serve as a modern version of Deuteronomy 6:8-9.

The thing to do: What’s the resolution or practice you’d like to make? Now, tie a string, or take out an old ring or necklace, make the vow to go the week without the offending food (now throw it out of your house); or, make the vow to walk 3 miles every day; or, whatever the easiest keystone habit you can think of—make that vow.

Now, wear the string or the ring or keep track on the iWatch (the built-in walking tracker works great).

Hope this helps.

The 1-3-5 Plan:

Deuteronomy 6-10

Virtue: Writing–Read, experiment, observe; then, write what you think.

Walk 3 miles

Eat 5 fruits or vegetables



Charles Runels, MD

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Jan 2. Crowd Out Harmful with Health-full

Crowd Out Harmful With Health-full

Around January 1, I see people try to begin or end a habit as part of a New Year’s resolution. Correctly thinking that habits greatly change their health, they use the first of the year as starting point for beginning new habits. I’ve noticed six things that successful habit changers do that the stuck do not do. You might consider these six things as you go about constructing resolutions for the year.

Neither the physical world nor the emotional and spiritual world tolerates a vacuum. Abruptly ending a habit forms a vacuum. Then the person eventually refills the vacuum–usually either by returning to the old habit or by adopting a new habit as destructive as the one abruptly ended.

For example: someone may abruptly stop smoking and then adopt more food to replace the cigarettes. Sometimes this leads to unwanted weight gain. Or the person may tolerate the vacuum left by the absence of smoking for a time, but eventually the vacuum becomes unbearable and they return to smoking.

Rather than resolving to abruptly end a bad habit, some will carefully plan and implement a good habit that they think might crowd the bad habit out of their life.

For example: Some will start chewing gum and think that this habit might replace smoking. Usually, chewing gum is not powerful enough to replace smoking, but the replacement tool can operate powerfully. A better choice might be walking. I’ve had no patient that developed the habit of walking three or more miles a day (six or seven days a week) who continued to smoke; it’s simply difficult to do both (you either quit walking or quit smoking).

When doctors prescribe Welbutrin, they use the replacement tool. The patient usually takes the medication for one or two weeks before they even attempt to quit the cigarettes. Usually, the medication will make the cigarettes less desirable and the patient will just quit smoking (as long as she continues the new Welbutrin habit).

Using this strategy (pushing out the harmful with the helpful) to change your life demands that you carefully chose the new habit. The new habit should be less harmful than the old one and it must be powerful enough in its effect to push away the old habit. The new habit should also be something that you can actually do for the rest of your life (else when you stop the new habit, the old one comes home again).

Tomorrow, we can think about mistake #two. Today we consider what habits do we really want to give up. What habits do you think you could begin that might crowd out the bad habits? It’s a good time to carefully consider such strategies. Consider making a list of harmful and helpful behaviors that you would like to begin or start.

Hopefully, scanning through this daily reminder will be a small habit that could keep you moving in a healthy direction and help crowd out harmful behaviors by redirecting focus

_Read Genesis: Chapters 8-14

_Walk 3 miles: actual miles walked

_Eat 5 fruits or vegetables

_Virtue: Temperance–eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

Peace & Health,

Charles Runels, MD
Cellular Medicine Association

More about these “365 Health Strategies”

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