It seems every day we witness behavior that leaves us scratching our heads and asking, "What were they thinking?" Common sense seems to be in increasingly short supply. Is it? Or could it be that one person’s "lack of common sense" is another’s different way of viewing the world? Might there be a perfectly logical explanation for the behavior that we view as irrational?
We live in a day and age where 70% of chronic conditions are attributable to a significant degree to lifestyle-related behaviors. This includes diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, all of which are health issues that could be controlled, or at least managed more effectively, if individuals engaged in a series of behavior changes. Instead of judging actions which contribute to the problem as a lack of common sense, taking an uncommon view can lead to new beginnings.
Exploring a Different View
Health and wellness coaching provides perspective and insight that ask us to consider alternate possibilities and ways to re-frame our thinking. Embedded in the principles of integrative coaching are tweaking tips
that enable you to assess your own behavior and that of others when "common" sense may seem to be elusive:
- Assume there is a perceived positive benefit derived from behavior we or others "shouldn’t" be doing. For example, a harried smoker may tell you that those 10-minute breaks are the only ones when they feel a little relief from what seems like overwhelming stress. We change when the downsides outweigh the perceived benefits. In the case of the smoker, when faced with the death of a friend from lung cancer and seeing others successfully quit a tobacco habit, they may find themselves ready to stop smoking. They can more easily envision the dollars saved and fewer bouts of bronchitis as benefits, and be willing to explore meditation or other means as a way to address stress.
- Be curious. Ask questions. Is there another way to view a situation? Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt and allow the space to explore options that may be more productive and lead to positive changes. If faced with an unexpected assignment at work which seems like the very last straw in terms of workload, could this be an opportunity to learn something new or a chance to have a conversation with your manager about prioritizing what you’re being asked to do?
- Listen. Actively engage in listening to your "inner voice" and spend more time hearing others instead of jumping in with a solution. By keeping an open mind, you may find the answers you seek more quickly and find an alternate point of view that helps make your journey more enjoyable.
So if your New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory and you’re reaching for the chocolate cake even though you said you wanted to lose weight, take some time to ask yourself:
- what’s behind the behavior, and
- if you’ll be happier or just more upset after the last morsel is eaten.
The answers you get may be uncommon; and might make all the difference in the world.
All the best,
NEW Executive Women's Breakfast:
The Art & Science of Healthy Aging
If you missed this announcement, be sure to check your calendar and get registered. Seating is limited and we'll run out of room quickly. For more details, go here
Friday, March 7, 2014
7:30 am Breakfast/Networking
8:00–10:00 am Program
|The Tower Club
8000 Towers Crescent
Vienna, VA 22182
How to Keep Your Resolutions By Katherine L. Milkman and Kevin G. Volpp
It's that time of year again. Maybe it’s your waistline you’re worried about, or maybe it’s the smoking habit you just can’t seem to kick. To improve your chances of keeping your New Year’s resolutions, we offer four tips inspired by recent research on behavioral economics and health.
Read more here.