Want to keep that New Year’s resolution? We may have a way…

| Posted On Dec 17, 2014 | By:

health coaching class“Beginning January 1st, I will exercise every day and eliminate fast food from my diet.” Does that sound familiar?   With the start of 2015 around the corner and all of its promises for a new beginning, this is the time of year when many people start to think about their New Year’s resolutions. Whether your plan is to be more active, eat healthy foods, stop smoking, de-stress or get more sleep, they all can have positive effects on your health. And a healthier you means a decrease in the likelihood of acquiring a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or cancer.

Most people will admit that they know what to do – the problem is doing it. Making healthy changes is never easy. Even when we’re highly motivated, we all struggle to break an old, bad habit and replace it with a new, healthy one.

Research has revealed three important insights about behavior change that can improve our chances of success.

  1. Long-term change is more likely to be successful when it’s self-motivated and rooted in positive thinking, not motivated by guilt or fear.
  2. Goals are easier to reach if they’re specific (“I’ll bike 30 minutes a day,” rather than, “I’ll be more active”) and kept to a few, as having too many goals can be overwhelming and may prevent you from focusing on and being successful at one activity.
  3. Just having a goal is not sufficient. You need to have strategies for achieving it.

While the support of family and friends can be helpful when trying to change your behavior, in recent years health coaches have been gaining popularity. The role of a health coach is to work with you to make positive changes that will improve your health and well-being. The coach is the expert in helping you change your behavior to reach your goals. You know what’s hard about leading a healthy life for you, what motivates you and “what works” in your busy life. Together with a coach, you can create a personalized plan for health improvement that is realistic and achievable.

How does Health Coaching work?

A health coach helps you identify your wellness goal then guides you, through a series of questions, to help you identify challenges to living a healthy life and the strengths you can use to meet those challenges. You then create a realistic action plan, describing the specific, doable steps you are willing to take to achieve your goal. Self-esteem increases each time you experience success at working towards your goal.

Harvard Vanguard is offering a “virtual” Group Health Coaching Experience for Women starting in January, after the holiday frenzy and in time for New Year’s resolutions. The group, led by a certified health coach, will consist of a small group of women between the ages 45 and 59, who will share ideas, goals, strategies and support as they work together to bring about positive change.

Click here for more information or to register.

About Pam Wolfson, MA, certified health coach

Pam Wolfson provides individual and group coaching. Her clients develop strong capabilities to manage stress, meet health goals, and cope more effectively with life’s changes. As a business owner and parent, Pam is very aware of the ways women balance caring for themselves and others. Her coaching practice, Wolfson Wellness, LLC, is enriched by years of evaluating healthcare services for national firms, such as Harvard Pilgrim, New England Medical Center and CVS. Pam also served as the director of health education at a suburban hospital and helped create a new women’s health service.

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