Skip to main content

Wisdom and Wellness Wrap-up #9

By March 22, 2024No Comments

Wisdom & Wellness Wrap-Up!

Hello there!

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. Reflecting on the complexities of the interplay between our goals and habits, I’ve been drawn to the phenomenon of self-sabotage—specifically, the dissonance between our aspirations (goals) and the habits we cultivate (currently utilize). This week, let’s explore a bit of Biblical wisdom and a bit of scientific insight that can guide us away from self-destructive patterns towards a path of wellness and fulfillment.

Wisdom: Overcoming Self-Sabotage

A poignant illustration of self-sabotage can be found in the Book of Proverbs, where it describes a drunk who, struck and wounded without cause it seems, wakes to seek another drink (Proverbs 23:29-35). The drunk in the story thinks he has been attacked without provocation but has no memory of the events. Did he get attacked or did he fall? Who knows. This vivid imagery serves as a metaphor for the cycle of self-sabotage: engaging in harmful behaviors, suffering the consequences, yet returning to those same behaviors without recognizing the root cause.

This passage and image would suggest we should sit back and reflect a bit on what role we are actually playing in the struggles we are facing. Are there habits or patterns that, though detrimental, we find ourselves repeating? Like the drunkard, we may feel ‘hit’ by life’s challenges—unaware that our actions may contribute to our predicaments. The wisdom here is in recognizing our role in these cycles and taking responsibility to break free from them.



Wellness: The Power of Incremental Change and the 4% Rule

Once we have been able to notice and name the habits that need to change we can then begin to slowly attack them. In the realm of physical and mental wellness, the principle of incremental change, supported by the 4% Rule, offers a powerful strategy for overcoming self-sabotage. The 4% Rule, rooted in the concept of “just-manageable challenges,” suggests that optimal growth occurs when we push ourselves just beyond our current capabilities—by about 4%. This approach, striking a balance between too easy and overwhelmingly hard, fosters steady progress without the discouragement of repeated failures.

Studies support the efficacy of this principle. For instance, research on goal-setting and performance finds that specific, challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy or vague goals (Locke & Latham, 2002). Applying the 4% Rule, we can set goals that are challenging yet achievable, encouraging positive habits without the discouragement of unrealistic expectations.

Further, the compounding effect of small, positive changes—a concept echoed in health research—demonstrates the significant impact of minor adjustments over time. A study by Dr. James O. Hill showed that small lifestyle changes, such as walking an extra 2,000 steps or cutting 100 calories daily, led to substantial health improvements over time (Hill et al., 2015). This underscores the power of incremental progress in overcoming self-sabotage.


In aligning our habits with our goals, the wisdom of acknowledging our tendencies towards self-sabotage, combined with the wellness strategies of incremental change and the 4% Rule, can lead us towards a more harmonious and fulfilling path.

As we journey together towards greater wellness, let’s commit to self-awareness, setting manageable challenges, and embracing the compound effects of small, positive changes. Remember, overcoming self-sabotage is not only about breaking bad habits but also about forging new ones that align with our deepest values and goals. 

If you are not sure what your values and goals are, maybe that is a good starting point. 



As always, it’s a pleasure to serve you on your faith & fitness journey.

Adam Braud

Author Adam Braud

I'm Adam Braud, a Certified Fitness Professional. I’m a Louisiana native that hails from Baton Rouge! My fitness journey began at age 14 when I joined a friend and his dad for a workout at the gym, and I’ve never looked back. Along with my passion for fitness, I have a deep and genuine love for people. I’ve been able to express a lot of that through nearly thirty years of ministry experience. I integrate my love for fitness and people by providing a unique coaching experience through my app, public speaking, and 1:1 training. I couple science-based fitness with care for the whole person. My hope is to help people to take care of themselves in a way that allows them to be around and do the work they feel called to for a long time to come.

More posts by Adam Braud

Leave a Reply