Berean Blog

How to Kickstart a God-Glorifying Health Routine This New Year

It's that time of year again. It's the week before the new year when we all start to think about our goals and resolutions. We've tried year after year. We really have. But, if we're honest, most of us will only keep those goals until spring, if that. We all need to improve our health in one way or another, but how do we stay motivated? How do we keep going when we feel like hopping off that bandwagon after only a few weeks or months in? If you stick with me below, I'd love to show you! We'll look at how to kickstart 2024 with a God-glorifying health routine and make realistic changes that we can maintain for years to come. Who's in?

by Julia Lemmens on December 26, 2023


All of us know we need to make health improvements. We all need to make changes in one area or another. But I know your blood pressure just went up 20 points right now as you were thinking of three ways to be healthier than you were yesterday.

Perhaps you're thinking, “I should probably go for a walk...ugh...I hate the cold.” Or “I should probably eat more veggies...eww.” Or “I should use (or cancel!) my gym membership since I haven’t been in 6 months...”

Whatever popped into your mind, check it at the gate for a second.

Let’s talk through some realistic things you can actually implement to help yourself become healthier this year...for good.

Not just until March when your emotions die down, your friend drops off the bandwagon, and you don’t want to go to the gym alone and keep doing Whole-30 on top of it.

Before you do anything . . . 

First, you need to get clear on your “why.” As a certified personal trainer, I have people come to me with all kinds of different goals and desires: weight loss, health improvement, muscle gain, and postpartum recovery. Whatever it is, especially as Christians, we need to be crystal clear on our "why." I don’t mean our “health goals.” That’s another discussion for another time.

I mean our deepest and most honest “why.”

We need to examine ourselves to make sure we understand our motivations. Scripture tells us that the heart is deceitful, desperately wicked, and hard for us to understand (Jeremiah 17:9).

We need to spend some time praying about the motivations of our hearts and see what God reveals to us.


Find your holy motivation - your holy "why."

When God opens our eyes to our deepest motivations, we must take those thoughts captive and submit them to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s time to find a HOLY motivation.

As believers, our primary goal is to use our gifts to build up the Church to collectively achieve the Great Commission (i.e., all nations hear the greatest news ever.)

But here’s the thing. We all get ONE body in this life to fulfill our part in the Great Commission.

Let me ask you some personal questions. Do you keep eating foods that are killing your energy, focus, mood, and mental and physical strength, not to mention your physical well-being? Do you continue to ignore your body’s need for exercise and repeatedly convince yourself you can just do it tomorrow?

I mean this in love: How much Kingdom-building are you sacrificing for your self-indulgence today? Christian, come close. Let me have your attention for a minute.

We have the BEST NEWS in the WORLD to bring to a lot more nations, and if we’re tired and obese and crabby and emotionally unstable because our BODIES don’t have the nutrition and strength they need to get through a typical day, how are we going to bring the gospel to the ends of the Earth? We need to step back and re-evaluate our lifestyles and priorities.


Write down your motivation.

The first step to kickstarting your health this new year without fizzling out by spring is this:

Imagine what God could do to build up the body of the Church and help reach the nations if you felt better than you ever have in your whole life.

Write those things down. Whether you’d have the energy to mentor that person who came to mind, volunteer on the Parking Team without your back giving out, or even just get up and study the Bible to share what you learn with your kids...

Whatever those things are, write them down.

Use two practical steps to help you stick to your "why."

Now for the practical stuff. You have your primary motivation to keep you going through every season...and now you need some practical steps to help you feel amazing.

So, here you go!

Step #1: You need to find margin in your life to procure healthy foods.


There used to be no other option than to eat whole foods. Not that long ago, there was no such thing as packaged food. I was sitting in the hospital with my dad after his quadruple bypass in October 2023, and the doc came in and gave him the best nutrition advice I’ve ever heard: “If it came from the ground or directly from an animal, you can eat it. If it didn’t come from the ground or an animal, don’t eat it.” Genius.

But since our worlds are filled with mostly processed foods, we need to make time and/or apply funds toward procuring, prepping, and cooking those whole foods. Schedule your shopping and meal prep time and keep it as a date with yourself. Make it fun, but make it a regular thing. That’s how good relationships are built.

Be sure to keep your meal preparation expectations realistic for YOU. Not your mother-in-law. Not your chef-aficionado blogger friend. YOU.

Your friend may be dedicated to preparing a different made-from-scratch meal every single day of her life. Still, maybe for you, the reality is that if you try to cook a new and semi-complicated recipe, the evening ends with everyone, including you, in a puddle of tears. If this is the case, keep it simple. Way simple. Simple and healthy are not mutually exclusive. Hear me out.

Get yourself an air fryer. Douse some chicken in avocado oil. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Air fry it at 360º until it’s cooked to 165º internal temperature. Have some veggies and call it a night. Keep. It. Simple. Do chicken on Monday and make enough to have leftovers for Tuesday. Grass-fed beef for Wednesday and Thursday. Fish for Friday and Saturday. Pair with a veggie and maybe a small serving of a cooked whole grain if you love it…and leave the worries to Jesus. Stop worrying so much, friend. Your life could be easier. (And pssst…your stress is only making you feel worse.)

PRO TIP: You can also check out my “Simple, Quick, and Nutritious Meal Guide” HERE on my website, where I have all kinds of affordable meal guides complete with grocery lists, weekly menus for three meals per day, and prepping instructions so you don’t have to cook every day. This could be a game-changer for you to help make healthy living realistic for your real life.

Step #2: You need to find margin in your life for moving your body.


Before the Industrial Revolution, everyone’s job involved moving in some capacity. Desk jobs were not the norm. Now they are. So, we need to apply time and/or funds toward exercise every single week. It’s kind of weird, but it’s true.

You need to include three different types of movement in your routine.

The first is non-exercise movement. This is “getting your steps in.” Examples: Park farther away in the parking lot. Wrestle with the kiddos. Have an impromptu dance party. Stand up from your desk regularly—those sorts of things.

The second type of movement is moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. You want to ensure you’re getting regular cardiovascular-focused exercise in your weekly routine. Most adults need to spend about 30 minutes 5 times per week in zone 2 cardio. This means you can still breathe through your nose and aren’t working so hard that you need to breathe through your mouth.

The third type of movement you need to incorporate into your weekly schedule is strength training. Oh, the much-neglected and most important type of fitness training! You may not know this, but muscle mass alone is the greatest known determining factor of longevity (aka, more years to preach the gospel before going home with Jesus). Gaining muscle will also help you to continue living functionally into your older years. It will ALSO help control your blood sugar and metabolism, thus stabilizing your hormones and improving your overall sense of well-being. If you’re unsure where to start in a strength training program, visit Julia Lemmens Fitness HERE to learn more.

All that being said…

Before you get started, you must acknowledge that you are different from everyone else. Your neighbor may be able to devote 60 minutes 6 days a week to their workout routine, but that may not be reasonable or realistic for you right now. Your priority is to look at your calendar, enter any missing events from that calendar, and find regular times to commit to making “dedicated movement time” every week. If you need to start with 15 minutes on Monday, 20 minutes on Wednesday, and 25 minutes on Saturday, do it.

Whatever is attainable for you in this season of life, aim to keep these 'movement times' as appointments with yourself as you would a doctor’s appointment. If you need to reschedule them, do so, but don’t be rude and cancel on yourself.


Get started on your God-glorifying health journey today!

And there you have it. These are the three basic steps to help you lay the foundation for making realistic changes this new year. Not ones that will only last until spring, but ones that you can maintain for years to come.

In summary:

  1. Get clear on your uniquely Christian “why” (i.e., your unique part in bringing the gospel to the ends of the Earth).
  2. Make time and create margin for your health, both for meal prep and shopping for healthy foods.
  3. Make time and create margin for movement. Be gracious with yourself, keep it realistic, and walk by faith.

Soon, you will feel better, think better, and serve better.

Whatever you do, aim to leverage your health to make GOD look more glorious so YOU can get out of the way.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

PRO TIP: Everyone needs support. If you want to consider receiving fitness and nutrition support from me, please visit me HERE on my website to schedule a free call with me any time. While you’re there, sign up to get FREE resources and helpful tips every week to help you achieve healthier living without stressing about it. (And no, I don’t have time to spam you. I promise.)

I’m overjoyed to be your first kick in the pants to start your God-glorifying health journey. Blessings, friend. Go and glorify the Lord with your whole body, mind, and soul (1 Corinthians 6:20). He is worthy!

About the Author:
Julia is a member of Berean, a wife, a mom of three boys, and a certified personal trainer, nutrition specialist, and virtual coach. She specializes in personalized and app-integrated functional fitness and nutrition programs tailored to your body, your needs, and your goals. Julia can be reached at

Read more on the berean blog: 


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