I resolve that in 2014 I will . . .

Jay Seifert
Dec 2, 2013 01:54 PM
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Jay Seifert, Guest ColumnistJay Seifert is the co-founder of LoneStart Wellness. He is a pioneer in applying established principles of social neuroscience and behavioral economics to individual and organizational “wellness.” His strategy is specifically designed to improve the health and well-being of those individuals most at risk for preventable chronic illness but least likely to participate in traditional “diet and exercise” programs. He is a monthly wellness guest columnist and you can see his columns in the first NCHN e-News of the month or right here on the blog.

I resolve that in 2014 I will . . .

Ready or not, it’s that time of year again.  Out with the old, in with the new.  A new year, a new opportunity to get a fresh start.   For the last four millennia, we humans have been marking the New Year by vowing to get rid of some of our bad habits and generally improve our behavior.  Back in 2000, B.C. the Babylonians vowed to pay off all their debts and return all the stuff they borrowed during the previous year.  This New Year most of us Americans will vow to lose weight, adopt healthier habits, save more money and get more organized.  But, unlike previous years, this time we’re actually going to do it.  Really.  Seriously.  We mean it, this year will be different. 

For network leaders seeking to improve the health status of their networks, their partners and the communities they serve, this is an opportunity to take advantage of this renewed interest in working toward healthier habits, and ultimately, better health.  

But as you know, most resolutions aren’t kept. And if you’ve been reading these posts, you’ll anticipate that I’m about to say that the reason for that has a lot to do with the expectations people have about their ability to be successful.  Here are a few things to pass along that will help create the realistic expectation of success.

  • Problems aren’t necessarily solved just because you have the information needed to solve them.  They are solved when people are motivated and take the actions they already know they need to take.
  • Unfortunately, the easiest solution to an important problem is usually not the best solution.  If it was easy, you would have been successful a long time ago.  
  • To be successful, you can’t be afraid to fail. And that’s OK because that’s how we learn.  Armed with the right “toolkit” and the realistic expectation of success, you will continue to take steps in a positive direction.  With each small success, the fear of failure subsides.
  • Those initial successes will lead to the realization that realistic, personal resolutions can lead to real, sustainable change. The rewards that came from a bag of chips or vegging out on the sofa all afternoon are replaced by the rewards that come from making better choices—more energy, lower weight and better health. and the powerful and self-affirming realization that you been successful. 

When even a few people in your network experience even modest success and it is shared with their co-workers, it fosters a new culture within your organization where healthier behaviors are learned, adopted, shared and sustained.

Four weeks from today is New Year’s Eve.  This is a perfect time to begin to plan a positive, realistic strategy to support your people and their personal goals.  Doing so is a Win-Win-Win.  As network leaders, you can provide the direction and support necessary to make it happen. 

If you have questions or issues you would like us to address in this column, contact: Jay Seifert at 512-894-3440 or   

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