By Chris Coward, Vice President of Coaching for Apollo Health

This month I’d like to share one of the 7 Barriers to Change created by my HabitChange coaching partner, Jeff Kaplan. We’ve been working with this model of behavior change since 2007, and it holds up!  I won’t go into the whole model except to focus on the barrier of Lack of Resources and External Support. In future articles, I can share other of these 7 Barriers, and you will probably recognize them. Each barrier has a feeling associated with it that identifies which barrier is at play. For the barrier Lack of Resources and External Support, the feeling that comes up with this is frustration. This barrier could include people resources such as family and friends who don’t support the change you are trying to make or something in your environment that does not support you. I’ll give an example of each.

Apollo Health recently completed a project working with a Native American tribe on changing their health habits to reverse and prevent Type 2 Diabetes. The program was very successful and included individual coaching for each participant and nutritional consultation by Carolina Curlionis.  A few participants struggled with getting the full support of their families, particularly around food. When their families did not embrace a healthier way of eating and insisted on continuing to eat the old way, the participants were frustrated and challenged with finding a way through it. If they were the cook in the family, they sometimes ended up making two different meals, and you can imagine how hard this got with the pandemic challenges and lack of time. Or, if a couple were participating together sometimes, they would disagree on how to do the program best, compete with each other, or get down on the other when they didn’t adhere to the program. Once this barrier was identified, the participants found their way through it with the help of their coach and Carolina. Sometimes this was having a direct conversation with their family and friends about how they could provide better support, and sometimes it was creative workarounds for mealtime. For other participants, it was learning how to honor their partner’s health path within the program without judging. Where does this barrier to change show up in your Bredesen 7 practice?

The other part of this barrier is a lack of resources, which can include your environment. A simple example is if you want to create an exercise habit in a gym and the gym is 20 miles away, chances are you won’t sustain going to that gym for exercise. Sometimes it’s as simple as identifying what in your environment is hindering your change? For some of my clients and me, it’s a lack of organization – messy desk, messy office, etc. Having visual clutter impacts your ability to focus.  Extending this example to following the KetoFLEX 12/3 plan, disorganization can impact having the right foods on hand to cook up a great healthy meal. How does your home environment support or hinder your success at following the Bredesen Protocol?

Supporting your ability to follow the Bredesen Protocol when something isn’t working for you starts with identifying and becoming aware of the barriers to your success. Once aware, you can work on addressing the supports needed for your change to be successful. Is it a direct conversation with a family member or friend on the support you need? Is it reorganizing your environment? Is it taking a hard look at your budget and figuring out your expense priorities, knowing you may not be able to afford all of the recommended supplements, but prioritizing which ones will help you the most?

I invite you to consider where this barrier shows up for you, and I’d love to hear from you about your challenges and wins when addressing it.

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