Dear Fresh-Starters: How goes it? I see that WBUR is holding a festival June 5 from noon to 4 p.m. on the Charles River. Would anybody like to stage a FreshStart MeetUp, maybe at around noon? Coach Beth (Dr. Beth Frates of Harvard and Wellness Synergy) thinks she can make it, and I’ll ask the WBUR powers-that-be to let you be special guests who don’t need to buy tickets. What do you say? I’d love to meet everybody, and talk about ways we could bring FreshStart to the next level…? To any potential newcomers out there, it’s not too late! You can join by leaving a comment below laying out your health goals.
And now, Coach Beth has the floor:
Having started this wellness journey together 5 weeks ago, it is time to take a step back and review our progress. First of all, congratulations for taking the “plunge” into examining your own lifestyle habits and how they relate to your overall level of health and wellness.
Sticking with any program for over 4 weeks is also something we need to celebrate. Whatever you have been doing these past 4 weeks, even if it is simply reading the posts of others, wellness has been on your mind. Depending on what stage of change you are in for different behaviors, your actions were probably different.
As you may know, there are 5 stages of change:
1) Pre-contemplative (I won’t, I can’t)
2) Contemplative (I may)
3) Preparation (I want to, I will)
4) Action (I am) and
5) Maintenance (I still am-after 6months or more).
Sometimes just acknowledging the stage you are in for a specific behavior (such as adding exercise into your daily routine, eating fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugar, or meditating) is the first important step.
After 5 weeks, it is a good time to re-evaluate your stage of change around your targeted behaviors. Your stage of change might have changed. Did it? From our posts in this blog it sounded like many people were in preparation to start and some are in action now.
You might be wondering: What are some common behaviors of people enjoying their optimal level of wellness? What are we striving for? This is where the paver comes into play. Wellness is an ongoing journey and can involve many different factors depending on an individual’s current behaviors, attitudes, and patterns. That said, there are some common threads among people enjoying their optimal level of wellness and their journeys there. I call these tools for P.A.V.I.N.G. your path.
P = Physical Activity on a routine basis (type, frequency, duration, intensity will vary)
A = Attitudes of a “growth mindset,” positivity, appreciation, and so called “failures” are opportunities for growth and development
V = Variety in one’s exercise routine, diet, and goals. Try new activities, foods, and strategies.
I = Inquisitive mindset, looking for more information, investigating current health and wellness recommendations
N = Nutrition focus on what is healthy for your body (such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, lean meat, fish, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats ). Avoiding highly processed foods, sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats.
G = Goals (monthly, weekly, daily) for your health and wellness. SMART behavioral goals that are written down on a calendar, appointment book, dry erase board, or other method. Sharing these goals with others (friends, family, wellness coach, physician, or fellow bloggers) so that you feel some support as well as accountability for them is another important factor for many people.
These are only 6 tools, and you might be using different ones. We have touched on several of the six tools through the course of this blog. Today, I want to spend a minute on the A, “attitude.” Continue reading