by David Sandstrom 

August 31, 2020

Everyone wants results but we resist change. We fail not because we're not trying hard enough. We fail because we're not using the right mindset techniques. In this episode, I share the 4-step formula for making lasting change.

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Show Notes


Today's Guest...

  • I'm flying solo on this episode

What You'll Learn... w / Time Stamps

  • 00:00 Time to do some working in
  • 3:46 How I let my clients down when doing nutritional counseling
  • 4:48 4-step process for lasting change from The Bible
  • 8:32 Why change is difficult
  • 10:01 How professional airline pilots use the 4 step process to ensure safety
  • 13:02 Step 1 Pinpoint your motivation
  • 17:15 Step 2 Get clear on the instructions
  • 18:39 Step 3 Write it down
  • 20:56 Step 4 Use repetition
  • 24:34 Bonus step 5 Practice spiritual warfare
  • 29:35 Bonus step 6 Ovoid overwhelm 


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

David Sandstrom 0:00
Welcome to the holistic health matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, and this is episode number 10. Imagine reaching all the important goals you set out to achieve. The secret to reaching our goals is having the right mindset. Oftentimes, we failed to reach our goals, not because we didn't try hard enough or not because we lacked effort. And it's not because we didn't want it bad enough. Frequently, it's because we didn't have the right mindset. In this episode, we're going to talk about the right mindset for success. This episode is based on my book, the Christians guide to holistic health. I have a chapter in there on mindset. It's actually chapter seven in The book and this is episode 10 of the podcast, I was thinking that perhaps I should have made this episode one because this is really important stuff because if you don't get this right, you won't be able to implement any of the other recommendations that I have for you. If you'd like to get that chapter from the book, you can go to my website,, search for Episode 10. And you'll find a download form on that page and you can download a free chapter, the book right there. So we've got to get our mindset, right, if we don't get this right, we're dead in the water. We're up the creek without a paddle. We, we've got to get out of the starting blocks. Real health is more than simply the absence of disease. And it's more than just taking care of our bodies. If we really want to address our health effectively, we've got to become more whole as a person. Because the more whole we are, the more healthy we'll be. I believe If we maximize our health potential by aligning our lives more fully with God's ideal designed for spirit, mind and body. We're created in the image of God as triune creatures. We are spirit, we have a mind, and we live in a body. God has a preference as to how we treat each component of our being. First Thessalonians 5:23 says this. "Now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete." In the last couple of episodes, we addressed some of the body. Everyone's heard of working out for better health. Well, I suggest that sometimes we need to do some working in what I'm talking about is addressing the internal dialogue we're having with ourselves in our minds. This internal dialogue is an often o verlooked area of addressing health, because the beliefs that we hold the thoughts that we allow into our minds our self talk will impact the choices we make, the actions we take, and therefore the outcomes we experience. New Year's resolutions don't work. 80% of New Year's resolutions are on the backburner by February. Why is that? So? I believe this is the reason everyone wants results. But it's human nature to resist change. Let me say that again. We want results. But we resist change. We have a desire. We may even have some lofty goals. But change is the hurdle we can't seem to overcome.

David Sandstrom 3:46
When I had my coaching practice, I mostly did nutritional counseling. I like to think that I gave some people some really good advice on how to eat but I was often amazed at how quickly people fell off the wagon. I got all kinds of excuses. Oh, we we got busy. We were on vacation. My kids had a birthday party. It was the holidays, you know, on and on it goes. And at the time, I thought these people just aren't motivated. I now know that I was letting my clients down. I gave them great advice on eating, but I left out teaching them the proper mindset that produces lasting change. I don't want to make that same mistake here with you. In the last couple of episodes, we talked about healthy eating, we talked about what healthy food is and how to recognize it. In this episode, I want to talk about having the right mindset to make the necessary changes to your eating patterns to improve your health.

David Sandstrom 4:48
I'm a Naturopathic Doctor but I'm also a Certified Biblical Health cCach. When it comes to areas of the mind and the spirit, we do well to turn to The Bible for wisdom. In Deuteronomy, chapter six, we see a really important teaching on the mindset it takes to implement successful change. Now, let me set this up. In Deuteronomy, Moses was preparing the nation of Israel to take possession of the Promised Land, their promised inheritance, the land flowing with milk and honey. Moses says, before you go, I need to share a few things with you. And he proceeds to give them God's law. The Israelites needed to understand the same thing we need to understand, that God's law is not there to restrict our freedom. It's not designed to spoil our fun. God's law is natural law, which means it's the way things are. It's the way the world works. God's law always has two objectives, joy, and protection. God's law is designed to maximize our joy and to keep us from harm. Moses shared God's desire to see the people succeed in the land. So he provides some information. He provides knowledge. But he doesn't stop there. He lets them know that information is not enough. Moses knew that no knowledge and failure to act on knowledge have the same result. Let me repeat that. Moses understood that no knowledge and failure to act on knowledge, have the same result. failure. He tells them, knowledge alone is not enough they must act on that knowledge they must execute. So he gives them the formula for acting on their knowledge. He gives them the recipe for success, the secret sauce, if you will, he gave them a four step process to successful execution that we could all apply today. We're going to look at Deuteronomy chapter six verses one through nine We're going to go over it from 35,000 foot level. And then we're going to unpack these powerful words, starting with verse one. "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess," skipping diverse three, "Oh, Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you. And that you may multiply greatly just says the Lord your God of your fathers has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey," Versesix. "These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons. And shall talk of them when you sit in your house. And when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as front on your forehead, you should write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Okay, there's a ton of wisdom here. So we're going to unpack this passage, but first I want to look at it from the 35,000 foot view. There's a four step process that Moses lays out. Step one, pinpoint your motivation. Step two, get clear on the instructions. Step three, write it down. Step four, use repetition.

David Sandstrom 8:32
In order to embrace a healthier, more holistic lifestyle. We've got to embrace change. Change is difficult because we've got old, well established habit patterns, we have well-worn neural connections in our brains. Now, rest assured, we'll do a whole episode on brain neuroplasticity. But for now, here's what we need to learn. We've got to unlearn old habits and create new new ones. Here's the secret to the execution in verse six. "These words shall be on your heart." The most difficult part of the journey is the first 18 inches, going from the head 18 inches down to the heart. That's really the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is information. That's great, but it doesn't do us any good until we act on it. Many people say knowledge is power. And that's not completely accurate. Knowledge is potential power. It only has power, when that knowledge is acted on. Wisdom is acting on our knowledge, having some application to it. In order to transform head knowledge into wisdom that's acted on. We've got to take that 18 inch journey from our heads down to our hearts because the deck is stacked against us.

David Sandstrom 10:01
Lasting change is difficult. Therefore, we need a plan. Professional pilots have to execute their mission. Failure is not an option. The consequences are too great. My job is pretty cool. Where we're still taking delivery of brand new airplanes from Airbus. I fly the Airbus A 321. It's 192 seat narrowbody airliner. Some of the aircraft are delivered from the factory in Toulouse, France, and others are made right here in Mobile, Alabama. They have a much shorter journey to get to Atlanta. When I go to work, they give me the keys to these brand new $100 million airplanes. And I get to strap one on and take it out for a spin. When I say they hand me the keys, I'm using a figure of speech. We don't actually have keys in an airliner. We just hop in, start the engines and go. So I'm using your finger speech but I when I go to work, I know the same thing that all all pilots know, and that is that aviation is very unforgiving at any given moment, we know that we are just a couple of mistakes away from turning this shiny new hundred million dollar airplane into a smoking hole in the ground. Talk to the families of the Airtran DC-9 that went in, went in the Everglades few years back, that airplane hit the ground with such velocity. It just disintegrated. They never recovered a body. They never recovered any pieces of the airplane, it was gone. Because of that reality, pilots have to execute safely. So what do we do? We embrace natural law. we behave in a fashion consistent with the way the world works. We embrace the truths we just talked about in Deuteronomy chapter six. For us, it's not a spiritual exercise in aviation. We're just being pragmatic. We're just doing what works. In order to get from our departure airport and arrive safely at our destination airport, we need to have a plan, and we need to execute that plan.

David Sandstrom 12:12
Professional pilots don't go anywhere without a detailed flight plan. The flight plan considers what challenges we can likely expect along the way. We take into consideration the weather at the departure airport, the route weather and at our destination. We consider the winds aloft. The fuel required, whether or not we need an alternate airport. We decide what route we're going to fly, what altitude we're going to fly at. If there's going to be any turbulence anticipated in route. If we're going to be flying over mountainous terrain, there's all considerations we need to take into into account. We anticipate and identify threats and use strategies to mitigate those threats. That's what we do. That's how we execute safely. In order to do that, we apply the four step process which Just went over in Deuteronomy chapter six.

David Sandstrom 13:02
Here's the steps of the process. Step one, pinpoint your motivation. A pilots motivation is to stay alive. Oftentimes I'll hear this comment when people hear I'm an airline pilot, they say, Wow, you have all those lives of people in the back of the airplane in your hands, doesn't that give you doesn't that bring a whole lot of pressure into your job, then the truth of the matter is, how many people are sitting behind us does not create pressure. Because as airline pilots, we're not thinking about the people in the back of the airplane. We're thinking about ourselves, because if we arrive safely at our destination, the people will as well. So self preservation is a far more powerful motivator than anything outside of us personally. Step two, get clear on the instructions. Together with a dispatcher we formulate a flight plan. And step three, we write it down the flight plan is printed out on paper. Now, even though we have electronic versions of the flight plan today, we have iPads and we get our flight plan there. We're still required by the FAA to have a paper copy of that flight plan on board. It's a legal requirement, we can't leave the gate without it. Step four, use repetition. From the first day of our training, we practice repetition.

David Sandstrom 14:24
So you might be saying right about now. Well, that is cool. You do have a cool job, Dave. I appreciate hearing about it. But how does that translate into transforming knowledge into action that can improve my health and well being? Well, let's unpack this passage a little further. We said that step one is pinpoint your motivation. Here was the motivation for the Israelites in verse three. "That it may go well with you, just as God has promised in the land flowing with milk and honey." The Israelites were motivated, they were ready for some change. They had just spent 40 years in the desert and they were ready to claim their inheritance, the land flowing with milk and honey. They knew why they wanted what they wanted. What is your WHY? identifying the specific reasons why you want your health back or why you want to maintain your health are a super important step in this process. We've got to get clear on our desires. clearly defining why we want to recover our health makes it far more likely that we're going to implement the changes. Michael Hyatt multiple New York Times bestselling author and successful self help blogger puts it this way. "People lose their way when they lose their Why." I've found people have trouble putting their desires into words. Imagine this. If I had a magic wand and all I had to do was wave this wand over your head and it could remove any and all health challenges. What would you ask for? Then? Imagine what life would be like after you get your health back. What could you do then, that you're not doing now? What could you accomplish? Who could you serve? Remember, we can only share out of our abundance. We can't give what we don't have. We should ask ourselves, in what ways will I be a better human being and make the world a better place because I have my health back. Don't limit yourself by trying to be realistic. It's important to let your imagination run free here. This is called getting in touch with your why. Now, this is not ideal. But you could also apply the opposite of that. The opposite approach could be a motivation for some people. You could imagine if your health doesn't improve or gets worse, what would your life be like then? Avoiding pain can be a powerful motivator. Now. I don't think that's the ideal approach, I prefer to stay in the positive, but for some people that might be a good motivator, I don't want to go there. I don't want to have a heart attack. I don't want to come down with alzhiemers. Those can be positive motivators as well.

David Sandstrom 17:15
Now, step two from Deuteronomy, chapter six is get clear on the instructions. In verse seven, we see this, teach them diligently. We should know our subject well enough to teach it to another person. years ago, when I was a flight instructor, I made a pretty significant observation about how people learn things best. When students are learning to fly, they get their commercial license set somewhere around 225 hours of flying time. And they often have an instrument rating with it. And then they'll say to me, Well, what do I do now? And I always advise people the same thing, become a certified flight instructor. We call it a CFI. because There's a big difference between passing a test and being able to teach someone else to pass that same test, we've got to know the subject better, far more thoroughly. And teaching it helps us to know it more thoroughly. passing your instrument rating as a pilot is quite an accomplishment. But actually filing an instrument flight plan and flying in the clouds and landing in an airport with low visibility can be rather scary. One of the best ways to overcome that intimidation is to teach that subject to others, you'll know it far better, and it'll be a lot easier for you to execute when the time comes.

David Sandstrom 18:39
Step three, write it down. Verse nine, in Deuteronomy six says, "write them on your doorposts." By writing it down, we take the intangible, and we turn it into the tangible Don't underestimate the power this process. Again, Michael Hyatt has some wisdom to share here. He's fond of saying this Thoughts disentangle themselves, passing over the lips. And at the ends of pencil tips." Let me say that again, this is really good "Thoughts disentangle themselves, passing over the lips, and at the ends of pencil tips." So we need to write it down. There's something powerful about this process. Right your reasons why you want to recover your health down on paper and hold on to it, put it in a safe place. There's something very powerful about putting our thoughts down on paper.

David Sandstrom 19:33
Quick story.When I was in my early 20s, I wanted to be an airline pilot, but I felt stuck. I wasn't making much progress toward my goals. I didn't have the money for flying lessons or college. I felt like giving up. Then one day I decided to write a simple statement down on paper. That exercise changed my life. Here's what I wrote. "I David Sandstrom commit myself to becoming a professional airline pilot. Every day my actions will take me one step closer to achieving this goal." In 1991, at the age of 28, I was hired at Delta Airlines. Now that might not sound like much of an accomplishment these days, but back then in 1991, Delta hired almost exclusively out of the military for their pilot ranks. Literally 99 out of 100 pilots getting hired at Delta was from the military. I was civilian with no military experience. I beat the odds. clearly defining my goal and making it tangible in writing gave me the motivation and the edge I needed. So, in your health building journey when you feel like quitting, pull up that paper with your reasons why, and read it to yourself out loud. It'll make a huge difference, trust me on this.

David Sandstrom 20:56
Step four, in Deuteronomy, chapter six is repetition. In verse seven, we see this "talk of them when you sit in your house, walk on the way when you lie down, when you rise up, buying them as a sign." Repetition works. And this is how learning takes place with practice. When pilots train on a new aircraft type, we develop our repetitive skills in a low cost static flight training device, we call it an FTD. In the FTD, we practice the checklist we use in an actual flight over and over. And when we reach proficiency in the FTD, then we move on to the more expensive, full motion full flight simulator because of this repetition that's built into our training, when we finally get to an actual airplane with passengers in the back. We're very proficient in the use of checklists. By the way, most people don't realize this. We do 100% of our training in the simulator. The first time we get on that airplane, the new aircraft type is when there's actually passengers in the back. It's the first time we've actually flown it. And there'll be it'll be revenue flight with passengers. Isn't that amazing? The simulators are that good we get, we get to do far more training in the simulator than we actually ever could in the real airplane. So that's kind of an interesting fact that most people aren't aware of. Our checklists that we use in flight can be quite long, and we can't allow ourselves to be distracted with interruptions. Once we start reading a checklist, we don't want to stop it until we're finished. Well, one time we were going through our pre flight check, first officer and I, and there was a nervous passenger he stuck stuck his head up in the cockpit. And we're in the middle of reading our checklist. So we ignored him. And we proceeded with the reading of the checklists in a very disciplined military like fashion. The sound of something like this, flight instruments checked, altimeters, 3015, cross checked, navigation radios, set, trim 00 set he walked away without. even talking to us, and he said to his friends, I feel better now. We're in good hands. These guys know what they're doing, because he heard us and he saw the discipline that we use in our checklist the repetition that we're using. The same is true for us in our health building regimen. If we want to make lasting changes, we need to be consistent and practice repetition. Our old habits will start to fade and new habits will form and will become more and more natural for us they'll become a new way of doing business. they'll move from feeling awkward to feeling more normal. One of the more important aspects we can apply this repetition process to is taking our goals that we've written down and the reasons why that we want to recover our health and reading them before we go to bed. And when we get up in the morning, from Deuteronomy six, we see in verse seven, Moses tells the Israelites to go over these instructions when you lie down, and when you rise up, there's something very important about this process, because if we go over those goals, and we go over the things that are important to us before we go to bed, our subconscious or our non conscious minds will go to work on making that a reality while we sleep. And when we get up in the morning, we remind ourselves of those things. So before we start our day before we get busy and get distracted, that we put First things first, we remind ourselves of the most important things. This is a very powerful technique and a good way to amplify the impact of the mindset changes that we're making.

David Sandstrom 24:34
So that's the four step process that we learned from Deuteronomy, chapter six. There's another step in this process that I think's worth mentioning, you can consider this a bonus step. Now, if you just implemented those four steps, I think that's powerful. I think you have enough right there to work with and make some some lasting changes. But this is a step that I think is worth talking about. And it's spiritual warfare. Whenever we want to make change to move towards more freedom, that change will be opposed, there will be opposition, Satan is real; he hates God. And the best way to hurt God is to go after the ones he loves. In the book of john, Chapter 10, verse 10, one of my favorite verses the whole Bible, "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly." We can't afford to ignore this reality. We live in a world at war. Satan is real. And he wants to rob us of our freedom. He wants to kill our joy, and he wants to destroy our health. That's where he gets the most bang for his buck. We can't afford to be passive. We must be proactive and stay on the offense. So we've got to be careful with our self talk because spiritual warfare for the most part takes place in our minds. It's that inner voice we have inside our heads or self talk or inner dialogue. We mustn't let our self talk run on autopilot. We mustn't become victims to negative thinking. We need to understand that we're the ones in charge of our thoughts. And if a thought or an idea is empowering us go with it. But if it's not empowering us, we need to change them. When our thoughts are bringing us down or tempting us to walk in a direction that we know is not productive. We're doing battle in our minds. That's the battle right there. Again, biblical wisdom comes to our rescue. In Second Corinthians chapter 10, verse five, we see this. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. We are casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." We need to be the gatekeepers of our minds and not allow unproductive thoughts into the recesses of our minds. Here's how it works. It's really not all that mysterious. For instance, let's say you just joined a gym, and you walk into the gym for the first time and you feel like you're the only before picture in there. Seems to you like everyone else in the gym is in their after picture best shape they can be in. And your self talk starts going downhill and it sounds something like this. "Who am I kidding? I'll never look like that. I don't have the genetics it takes to look like that at my age. Why bother? I'm wasting my money. I'm gonna cancel my membership, get a refund." There's the battle right there. We've got to take those thoughts captive. When those types of thoughts come knocking on the door of our minds, we need to say no, you're not welcome around here. We need to slam the door of our minds. shut that door and lock the deadbolt. We need to eliminate this kind of disempowering self talk because it can derail us before we even get started. more empowering self talk with a new membership at the gym would sound something like this, "Okay? I'm not where I want to be, but that's why I'm here. I know that if I make small, incremental progress each day, I can improve my health. Over time, I will reach my goals. Other people have done it. I intend to be one of them." That will be far more empowering. It's worth repeating "Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips." I suggest not only writing down your reasons why you want to be healthier, but putting them on paper, but also writing down your self talk as well. Often what we're rehearsing in our minds is not based in truth. We need to expose these lies to the light of day. Frequently once we see these arguments in writing, or say them out loud They just won't hold water anymore. They may even sound quite silly. So if you find yourself struggling with some disempowering thought that seems to keep coming back, do this exercise, write that thought down on paper and read it out loud, expose it to the light of day, you may just find that you can disarm those words and take back control of your thought life and stop letting your thoughts run on autopilot. And you demonstrate that you're the one in control and you replace those thoughts with more empowering words.

David Sandstrom 29:35
The last mindset truth nugget that I want to I want to share with you is to avoid overwhelm. getting overwhelmed before you start will always stop you dead in your tracks. It's like running out of gas before the race starts. Please understand that you don't need to execute 100% of everything to make some serious improvements to health. Take one step at a time. Start With the low hanging fruit; master that step, and then move on. Remember I was talking about how we master our checklist in the flight training device before we move on to the full flight simulator. That's how learning takes place a step at a time. And we start out with the simple and we move on to the more and more complicated, we can start by adding some good things as opposed to removing the bad things. For instance, the first week on your new eating plan, you could start out by making a goal just to drink more water, drink more good clean water. After that feels like your normal routine, then try to quit drinking soda or something like that. That's what it looks like. And if we take one step at a time, we'll avoid overwhelm.

David Sandstrom 30:43
Alright, so let's summarize what we talked about today. The four step process from Deuteronomy six is one. pinpoint your motivation. Why do you want to do what you want to do? Why do you want to get your health back? Step two, get clear on the instructions. Know the information so well that you could teach it to somebody else. Three, write it down. By writing it down, you turn the intangible into the tangible four practice repetition. Over time, what is uncomfortable at first will become comfortable as it becomes your new normal. And then the bonus steps in this process, acknowledge and practice spiritual warfare. Be careful to monitor your thoughts and avoid overwhelm. Start out with the simple work your way to the more complex. I hope you enjoyed this teaching again. This episode is based on my book "The Christians Guide to Holistic Health", you can grab a free download of this chapter on mindset by going to my website,, search for Episode 10. And you'll see a form on that page for downloading this chapter. That's enough for this week. Thanks for giving me some of your valuable time. I enjoyed serving you and I'll talk with you next week be blessed

About the author 

David Sandstrom

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Biblical Health Coach. I am also an Airline Captain for a major airline based out of Atlanta, Ga. I've been helping people maximize their health potential by nurturing their body, mind, and spirit since 2005.

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