April 15, 2022
By Chris Coward, VP of Coaching for Apollo Health
It’s that time of year where many of us go for our spring reset — that might be cleaning the windows, decluttering, and/or improving our health habits. For those of us on the Bredesen Protocol®, spring is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our successes, challenges, and areas that may need tweaking. This will look different for everyone, as the concept N-of-1 still applies.
What’s working for you regarding your following the Bredesen Seven? It can sometimes be difficult to see where your successes are when we are innately wired to see the negative and what’s not working well. Maybe you’ve increased your water intake or gotten to bed 30 minutes earlier than you used to. Perhaps you’ve started a walking habit or a five minutes per day meditation practice. Take a few minutes now to acknowledge your wins, even if they seem small to you.
What health behaviors are not serving you? These could be big or small behaviors. When you reflect on these habits, be careful not to judge yourself harshly — we are all human and fallible, or as they say, “works in progress.” A few examples might be a daily habit of eating sugar or staying up late, unable to cut yourself off from a captivating Netflix series. Be kind yet honest with yourself and write these down. As you review this list, keep in mind YOUR most effective behavior-change strategies. For many, a small step approach can be a great way to go. Last year when I wanted to be more consistent with my meditation habit and meditate daily instead of sporadically, I knew that if I could commit to only five minutes a day, I could create momentum and improve this habit. I set up a reminder on my phone (the ReCODE app can be helpful with this), and no matter what, even if I was ready for bed, I would get my five minutes of meditation in. One of the side effects of this experiment was that I went longer than five minutes on some days! If I had set out to do 20 minutes a day, I would have failed as that amount of time was too long for me to be consistent. And just as no one does their spring cleaning the same way, there are many ways to have approached my meditation experiment.
As you contemplate taking on a change to improve your health habits, be mindful of your self-talk. Are you saying to yourself that you can do this? Or is the inner critic saying you are a failure, or why bother trying? Can you reframe these critical thoughts, knowing that they are just thoughts and not the truth, and you can change them? The image of my inner critic is a nasty-looking witch. When she stops me in my tracks, I imagine her melting like in the Wizard of Oz. No more of that noise! Coaching can be helpful in reframing your critical self-talk, as someone objective in your corner and trained to help others deal with their inner critics (which get very loud when we try to change a long-standing behavior). A coach can help you discover your unique approach to making the changes you want to make, leveraging your strengths and previous successes.
We wish you the best if you are undertaking a spring cleaning or reset; let us know what strategies are working for you, and of course, also reach out if you need any group or individual support!