Friday, May 24, 2013

A Contentious Divide?

Touchy? Yes. Controversial? Maybe. Debatable? Almost certainly. What? Our collective wellness and well-being. It is a contentious conversation when it comes to our shared wellness and well-being. We’re all there, and we’re all in this together. We all have a part to play. And, all of us are playing from a unique perspective.

Yes, we are a contentious culture. We disagree on any number of issues—yet we still must find enough common ground to move on so that we can solve what really are enormous problems. Right now, healthcare and healthcare spending, driven in part by our lifestyle choices, is one of the most massive. It has the potential to drive our country to bankruptcy. And, at the heart of it all are two sets of values, motivations and behaviors that have the capacity to split, or divide us. These are values that drive our personal “wellness behavior choices.”

First, a couple of questions:  Do we trust what we know?  Do we trust what we think?  Do we trust ourselves to make the right decisions? Do we trust the solutions available to us?  (Technically, that’s more than a couple.) 

When focusing on our wellness and well-being (which is what this Blog is about), these are hard questions to answer. There’s a lot of information “out there” about what we should and should not do, a lot of dis-information, a lot of bad information, and a lot of information that is just plain wrong. How do you know the difference?

Well, you could listen to us…we try to distill all this information and make it simple (maybe not easy, but still simple), or you could listen to yourself. You really are the expert here, and you know what you will and won’t, can and can’t, do. You also know what you should do and must do, for reasons that may be personal and private, but surprisingly, are more than likely very much connected to reasons held by our entire population. 

No one wants to be unhealthy. No one wants to suffer from poor lifestyle behavior choices. No one would choose to put their lives at risk because of those choices. Yet some of us do. And, those choices will cost us all as we try to navigate our way through the staggering, and growing healthcare costs we’re facing together as a nation.   

When it comes down to it, maybe we’re not so divided after all. Maybe we just have to act on what we know we need to do.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Conscious Lifestyle

A lot more goes into life than luck. Change happens, and it happens best when we make it happen. Yet, so many of us are too often afraid to create change because we are afraid to fail. So, if you’ve lost confidence in your inner ability to create change—this post is for you!

Do you take your power or inspiration from external sources or from within yourself? Do you read and look at ads and commercials and think to yourself, “This is what I need; this is what I have to do; this is how I should look; this is who I want to be?” These questions are important because you know yourself better than anyone else, and you are the one who should be in charge of what you want to change. It takes some thought, and it takes some time, and it takes resolve, but the results stay with you because you are the one who is in charge. And, you are the only one who can make it happen. It’s not a matter of “luck.”

We know repeated behaviors eventually turn into habits. And we know improving willpower long-term requires commitment (drawing on our inner ability). We also know as individuals we never stay the same. But, to create change, we have to expand our zones of comfort. We have to develop those behaviors that turn into habits, and then we have to change them—it’s the habit of changing habits that builds inner confidence. It’s  that little, or loud voice that says, “Yes you can do this. Now go do it.” It’s not a matter of “luck.”

Mindful choices made each day will result in steady changes leading to sustainable health and wellness. The effect is cumulative—and what we do—or don’t do, determines our success and our overall well-being. Imagine thinking of laying a foundation of wellness as you would think of breathing—in other words, not as a one-time choice but an automatic response and action. So, take a deep breath. Your values—and actions—speak to what is most important to you in life. Where is your focus? We suggest that rather than focusing on all the reasons for why not, or why you will fail, focus instead on all the reasons you will succeed. Keep in mind those things you do well and use those accomplishments to foster a sense of achievement. It’s not a matter of “luck.”
The takeaway—What do you think would happen if you put yourself in charge when it comes down to looking at your ability to create change? Hmm  . . . You might just become your own lifeline to your health and wellness decisions and choices. What better coach, than yourself? You’ll see that it really has nothing to do with “luck.”