Time for Change (Quality Life Forum Support Series) Health Coaching Session September, 2019
At certain age, we have used to our own way of doing things and rarely think it twice. However, human body shift gradually from growing to aging stage unnoticed. Something may go wrong when our body changes but we don’t. When my mom was in her 90’s, once she fell while standing on one leg to put her pants on. I suggested her sitting down to get dressed to be safe, but she was surprised and said she always done it this way. Situations like this happens very often. It’s time to consider change the way that we are using, feeding, and take care of our bodies, adapt to body changes, and reduce safety risks as time goes on.
It’s said that stubbornness is a common trait in older adults. Those who exhibit this attribute cling to the notion that they're persistent, decisive, full of conviction, standing on their ground and never giving up — all of which are maturity characteristics. They have lived their lives in certain ways and that’s the only way to live. For a stubborn elderly to change their mind seems hopeless. Others have tried to tell them the new and better things, the easier way to do it, a list of things “not to do”, etc, but they always have more reason (or no reason) for continue the way they always done it.
Human body is changing quietly and this process is part of natural aging. We may not aware of these subtle changes and habitually doing what we use to do. Or, some refuse facing degenerative health conditions or “getting old” by denying it. Our way of thinking may become less flexible and don’t see the negative side of stubbornness creates barriers at every turn at great costs. It’s very sad to see when someone had stroke because of unmonitored or untreated blood pressure, or refuse making therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) to reduce risks.
The truth is – We are the mastermind to make healthy choices and taking actions for self-care. No one can change us, but ourselves. It is important, however, to receive help and being supported by others from family, friends, and health professionals in the process of making therapeutic lifestyle changes.
There are 5 stages for self-initiated TLC changes:
Stage 1 – Unawareness (reactive state)
Life goes on. Everything is just fine. No bothers, no worries. You don’t see any problem(s) or potential problem(s) or needs for a change.
For example: “I am feeling fine. No health problems, or may be just a few minor issues, but I can live with it. I don’t want to be bothered. I will deal with the Doctors if I get sick.”
This is common in many busy people. Hidden emotions behind this mindset may include denial, fear, procrastination, or lack of health literacy. Health checkups and early signals of illness are often neglected until reaching a tipping point.
Stage 2 – Health Awareness (proactive state)
The awareness is based on your health consciousness and health literacy. It’s important to keeping up routine physical, GYN checkup, eye exam, dental cleaning and preventives on schedule, and get flu shot every year, for wellness maintenance. Review findings from the visits or reports carefully – what changed from last visit? What values are abnormal? What’s the cause? What’s the significance? What can I do about it?
For example: My Doctor told me that my blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar are elevated. I need to eat healthy, exercise more, and lose weight for heart disease and diabetes prevention, before put me on the medications. How can I eat healthy and what exercise to start up?
Stage 3 - Solution awareness (motivated for a change)
Once became aware of the problem(s), maintain optimal health shall motivate solution seeking for emerged health problem(s) and /or taking a proactive approach for risk reduction.
For example, to learn more about the health conditions, what is the best option (without bias) for my best interest, what resources are available to help me select effective, creditable, and affordable treatment options, health care services, wellness programs, etc.
Stage 4 – Taking actions (transformation begin)
This is the critical step bridging from problem to resolution. Knowledge is fundamental, but action is what it counts. Commitment will make the transformation happen. Empower yourself with “yes, I can” confidence and actions.
For example, start making therapeutic lifestyle changes, including healthy food choices, portion control, walk at least 30 min a day 5 days a week, etc.
Stage 5 – Evaluation (maintenance)
Now comes to the time to see the results and to maintain the new behavior. A set of subjective and objective measurements is planned at different time points to observe progress to date. Continued effort is required to maintain the TLC behaviors.
For example, improvements in overall mental focusing and body energy level, the blood pressure readings, BMI and waist measurement, as well as lab perimeters changes in clinical laboratory and other objective evaluations.
Mindset and Action
It sounds simple, but making a change is not easy. Coping with changes and adapt a new habit can be very difficult for some.
Having negative emotions and fear new situation because afraid of change.
Arguing about everything and trying to prove you are right.
Being inflexible and unwilling to change your mind.
Not dealing matters objectively but emotionally.
Being isolated and limited for health information update.
Avoiding information that contradicts your beliefs and only read news from sources that confirm your biases.
The good news is that mindset can change. Mindsets are powerful beliefs from past experiences, but can adjust to body’s needs for change and personal value renewal. As time goes by, our personality, priorities, and values will shift and so should we. Being flexible will make us more adaptable for body and environmental changes in life. It's never too old to try something new and enjoy the new experiences with rewarding health benefits.
Where are you now?
Are you problem aware? or solution aware? or lack of commitment for action? What is the next step? Are You Ready for Therapeutic Life Style Changes? It’s up to you to take actions for your own benefit. The therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) transformation is an important “DIY” (do it yourself) project of life, instructed by health care professionals and supported by social resources. Personalized health coaching may just be the help you needed for making TLC changes, which will provide mentor and a structured program for TLC transformation, support your motivation, overcome challenges and nurture your new health behavior. The TLC transformation is not easy; taking one small step at a time, you will go a long way. QLF will be with you on your transformation journey. Your success is our success.
Listen to your body to be problem aware. Re-evaluate your health value based on your current health state.
Be aware that you are not always right or knows it all. Be open and willing to learn something new every day to improve your health literacy, which may overwrites something you thought you already knew about it.
Search and find solutions and determine credibility of the program with critical thinking to weed out scams. Don't hesitate reaching out for help.
Develop trust with health care professionals from trusted resources. Stubbornness may be attributed to an overall mistrust of others. Build trust at personal level 1:1 with a health coach may make you more comfortable for the first step.
Take action today; don’t put it off. Contact QualityLifeForum@outlook.com for a free call. An individualized coaching program can help you achieving your personal health goals.
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