About the Author:
Guest blogger Timika Chambers is a Holistic Health Coach, Certified Diabetes Educator, and has over 18 years of experience in the nursing profession. She has served in community and hospital settings, as well as academia. Timika helps her clients design a lifestyle that is full of energy and focus, by helping them to create and eat nutritious meals, to develop a consistent physical activity regime that works for them, and by helping them to achieve balance in critical areas of their lives. Timika offers one-on-one counseling, group coaching, and presentations and training on diabetes management to lay persons and healthcare professionals. She is currently completing online healthy living programs to help others around the globe to focus on health management instead of disease management. Visit her website to find out more about her services.
How many people with whom you work are struggling to sustain motivation to achieve their New Year’s resolutions? Many people have good intentions to eat nutritious meals, lose weight, and be more active throughout the year. However, at some point, many people become stagnant. They may not have had a solid plan, lacked the resources to carry out their plan, or stopped believing that they are in control of their health.
I find that in many cases people want to change, but they do not know how to make the change and sustain healthy behaviors. They lack the skills for consistent and persistent action. Many people allow life circumstances to reshape their thinking about their goals from possible to impossible. So, how can we help people with diabetes switch their mindset and to commit, rather than just another New Year’s resolution?
I believe we can have the most impact in assisting people with diabetes to frame their goals in such a way that the goal becomes a “must” instead of a “should.” Incorporating the right questions at the right time can help people with diabetes ask more in-depth questions about their lives and their visions for a healthier self.
Here are some questions that can help people with diabetes get to the root of what they really want for themselves:
- Why do I want to be healthy? Do they want to inspire others to lose weight? Is it because they want to see their children grow up and have a family? Are they being teased about their weight? Desiring to be healthy for someone else is an admirable goal, but what will they do if that person is no longer around? Trying to please others is a never-ending battle. I believe that it is imperative that we help people see the benefits of being healthy for themselves—not just to fit in or be accepted by others.
- What does a healthier version of myself look like? If someone has an unrealistic view of health or doesn’t know what a healthy body looks like, this can be the time to help clear up myths. There is no right size or shape—what may work for someone else, may not work for you.
- What will it take to be a healthier version of myself? Sometimes we set goals and do not look at the long-range plan. We may know what we want, but we may not have a strategy to get what we want. We can help our clients set their long-range plan by providing a safe place to speak, paraphrasing, and asking open-ended questions. An example of an open-ended question is “What will it take for you to lose 20 pounds in 6 months?” Sometimes our clients need to hear what they have not asked themselves to develop a realistic plan.
- What resources are available to me? How long is the program? How far is the drive? Many people are not aware of local and state resources, such as classes or support groups, to help them achieve their goals. Along these lines, people must think about who will support them. Are the people in their circle of influence supportive or negative?
- Am I committed to my goals? How will I show this commitment? At the end of my classes/presentations, I have participants put together an action plan by writing down one thing they will change. They are encouraged to post these reminders on mirrors, refrigerators, and other places in and outside their homes to serve as a friendly reminder of their commitment to themselves.
How do you keep the people you work with motivated and committed to achieving their goals? Please feel free to share in the comments below, or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org