Wednesday, February 4, 2009


One of my unintentional roles as a wellness coach is to validate excuses. It's something I do really well----you tell me all the reasons why you cannot change (i.e. no time, too busy, too tired, kids, job, spouse, injuries, stress, lack of resources.....etc.), and then I tell you you're right. You're right that barriers make it more difficult to change anything about your lifestyle.

You're right. You win. You've been validated!

What next? Do you feel better?

I will be the first person to acknowledge that changing something about your lifestyle isn't simple, automatic, or instant---things get in the way. I do know from experience that if you want to change, you can. It may take extra strategizing and determination, but you can take baby steps and still make a difference.

One of the most common questions I ask people as they navigate through lifestyle change is whether or not the plan they've come up with feels manageable. If not, we need to re-evaluate it. Compromise. Choose something that doesn't sound dreadful. If you're monitoring your blood pressure, and you haven't been able to meet your goal for checking it twice a day---commit to just checking it just one time. Then do it, even if the conditions aren't ideal. Maybe you're doing it not wanting to, but doing it once is a compromise, and quite often you see it's not so bad or inconvenient. The same principle applies to most wellness concepts--exercise, stress, nutrition, and more.

If your plan isn't working, and you find yourself not sticking to it---validate your reasons (if you need to), and then adjust your plan. Validating and then not changing anything does not get you anywhere.

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