Most of us begin encouraged and enthusiastic when we set a goal of becoming healthier. Which often seems like a target for most people – but what does the generic statement ‘becoming healthier’ mean? It takes more than wishful thinking to have better health you also need a plan. One of the main ingredients in your effort is also to have a genuine belief you can achieve your wish. The more hopeful you are to obtaining your wellness objective the more successful you become.

To have hope is to have goals and wishes and a strategy and the motivation to accomplish the intention. Hope is different from being optimistic and having positive thinking. Hope is the belief that the future will be better than today and that you have control to make it such. Optimism is the thought that things will work out no matter what you do. It takes strength, willpower, and gumption to make a lifelong change.

Research from the Journal of Happiness Studies found that having hope is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. The more desire one has, the healthier their habits. People with the most faith sleep better, exercise more, eat extra healthy foods and practice safer sex. They also have fewer colds, less hypertension and diabetes, have better odds of surviving cancer and have less depression. All of these above reasons should be enough for all of us to make a concrete plan and start executing it now!

The study broke down hope into four components:

  1. Attachment. It is a sense of continued trust and connection with another person.
  2. Mastery or Empowerment. It is a feeling of being strong and capable and having people who validate your strengths.
  3. Survival. Survival has two features: a belief that you aren’t trapped in a dreadful situation and have a way out, and an ability to hold on to positive thoughts and feelings while processing something negative.
  4. Spirituality. It is a belief in something more substantial than your self.

If you possess all four of these factors, you can consider yourself hopeful and therefore more resilient. In fact, couples who share their hopes and dreams are more satisfied and more likely to last.

It is never too late to change or become more hopeful. If you are losing hope, you may be focusing on the obstacles in your life. Change your mind and start thinking about something that excites you. Spend time doing what you do best it will give you a boost in confidence and mood. Then reevaluate the folks who are surrounding you. Hope is contagious so spend time with the most hopeful people you know.

No matter how hard you try, you are finding you are not accomplishing your goal toss out that target and create several new goals. If you notice you are struggling in one area, don’t give up, it doesn’t mean you are heading in the wrong direction you merely need to alter your path.

You may not be able to control that hopeless feeling. But you can control your response to it. This is my mantra that runs through my head a lot — Life is not what it is supposed to be. It is what it is. It’s my reaction to it that makes all the difference.

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