Goal! Yes-hockey is back, but don’t forget the other kind of goals too! January is almost gone and we have eleven more months of 2013 to continue our goals for the year. Take this time to reflect on the past month with your clients (and yourself). Here are a couple thoughts on helping someone who is struggling with their goals or needing a little help staying motivated.
This is one of the most important things a health professional can do to improve the client experience.
“I worked so hard and only lost 2 pounds.”
Reaffirm- “I understand you are frustrated but you did lose weight. What other things did you notice- how did you feel, etc.” Focus on positive and let the client find the answer
Follow-up- “What would you change next month to help you meet your goal?”
# 2 Know the Tools
People who track their habits are often the most successful. A recent article discussed a survey of health management, which showed that many people do report “tracking progress,” but they are using their heads (memory) instead of using an app, program or even pen and paper. Many healthcare systems and insurance companies have health trackers, as well as nutrition and physical activity programs. Encourage your clients to keep accurate records or diaries for the best success and be a role model by tracking your own information. Do you remember what YOU ate for breakfast yesterday? Relying on memory can be very tricky. All of us who have ever had to do a 24 hour recall know this is true.
#3 Encourage Support Systems
Encourage a support system for success. There are many online forums and groups that can provide support for most health-related issues. Sometimes a client’s family or friends aren’t on-board or in-the-loop, so encourage other sources of support. Social media has opened even more doors for active support. Ask your clients what they are using and become familiar with some of these communities and groups.
A final tip: A small success is still progress to better health!
What tips have worked with your clients or your own personal health successes?