Friday, October 21, 2016

Somebody Can Be Watching You

Such a vast amount of information is shared via technology...names, addresses, family members, ordering history, etc. If you use any type of device it is important to be aware that there is the huge possibility that some of your information can be captured and used in a way that it was not intended. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and we should all take some time to see what steps can be taken to help protect your valued information. Learn how you can get involved to stay safer online.  

Medical identity theft, is another identity that can be of great interest to cyber thieves. Although providers of medical care take great efforts to help ensure the individual receiving care is who they say they are, medical identity theft is big business generating big bucks for those involved. It is a good idea to periodically check your information. On a hospital emergency room visit  I discovered my information had been used by someone other than myself. As I registered at the facility which I had never received service, to my surprise my name was already in their system. The date of birth and work history was incorrect. This type of theft left uncorrected can not only be a costly mistake but can impact your care in the future.  Visit the National Trade Commission page to learn more about medical identity theft.

The days of paper is quickly coming to an end so it is up to all of us to be informed and watchful.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Creating Change

One of the common question asked of someone who has achieved a wellness goal is "how did you do it?" The reality of it is the person has to create change in their life with strategies that work for them. 
When you think of a typical day, most of the things we do are a sequence of habits. Visualize your how your typical day begins.  For me it is reflection and prayer, morning bathroom etiquette, on brewing coffee, feeding the feral cats, giving the dog his medicine, and out for a morning walk. I’ve done this routine for so long that it is done day after day without thought. It is ingrained into my subconscious. For me to do something different would require creating new strategies to break the old routine for a new one.  This also applies when working to live a healthier lifestyle. Something inside my happen in order to grab a glass of water instead instead of a can of pop.
According to Psychology Today, the formation of new habits bring about changes in behavior that help lay the path for a healthier lifestyle. The same repetition that forms old behaviors can be used to create new ones. The British poet John Dryden wrote ‘We first make our habits, and then our habits make us”. But, you must always keep in mind that bad habits were not formed overnight and neither will better ones.
The acronym KISS  (keep it simple stupid) has been the design principle of the US Navy since 1960. The premise is that things work best when they are kept simple rather than being complicated. This has been adopted in many facets of life and is definitely applicable in the formation of new habits. A good approach is setting macro goals (the big picture of how you desire things to be one day) with micro quotas (the minimum amount of effort you need to give daily to make it a reality). Think of how do you write a book. Committing to writing a certain number of pages daily without fail will result in a finished manuscript ready for publication.

Don’t get caught in the 21 day trap believing this is the magic number of days needed for repetition to become a habit. We are all unique and how long it takes for something to become habitual behavior varies (anywhere from 18 -254 days). Just keep doing it again and again until it becomes second nature…then you have a habit. I think of my brother-in-law who was an overweight adolescent. One day the light bulb went off, in order to stop being teased about his weight...something needed to change. He moved from a couch potato and began walking until he worked his way into running. Now fifty years later, without fail, every day he runs. 

Find that thing or reason that taps into your passion for change. Passion gives it meaning. Consider before you begin, do you have a yearning for what you are about to invest your time and energy in? You have to be able to connect your passion with your action. This promotes resilience and prevents burnout. Motivation is the driving force for developing new habits. 
Remember “everyone has a story” and nothing is more motivating than hearing stories of success. Though change is about creating a healthier you, jumping in the back pocket of those who have succeeded can be your game changer. Use opportunities to learn helpful tips and tools that may be incorporated in to your plan as you travel your journey. I cannot stress enough…connect…connect…connect.

It is said that misery loves company and so do those who are walking on uncharted territory. Connecting with like-minded individual/s with similar intentions makes for the ideal support system. It is equally important to write it out. It is not hard to feel like you are putting in so much work but are getting nowhere. Frustration comes with that feeling of little progress that you overlook those small accomplishments. By writing it down and focusing on those micro quotas you create tangible mile markers along the journey. “The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken” – Samuel Johnson.

So 18 or 254 days is not the important thing…what matters is you just keep doing it again and again. Until you have evolved…keep working to create the you that you desire to be…NAMASTE

Friday, September 30, 2016

Be Prepared...Move Before that Eleventh Hour

Now that the warmth of the summer and hopefully the busyness of life is winding would be a great time to think on something many of us take for granted until it strikes...being prepared for an emergency. If you have never faced a week or longer with no electricity or being cut off from communication due to a major snowstorm, you probably haven't given a lot of thought to how you would manage such a challenge. The key to weathering any storm of life is that age old motto "be prepared". Once a disaster strikes, it's often too late to do anything but hope and pray for the best.
The US Department of Homeland Security has some very helpful tools on their website on how to "Prepare My Family for a Disaster". There are some step by step guidelines to help walk you through the process. For those of you who are like me and likes to keep things simple, the Red Cross website has several assembled kits and supplies to assist you in putting together your emergency kit.
Your best defense is a well mapped out plan now and be sure to share this information with your other family members and loved one. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Air We Breathe

As many of us live a healthier life it is important to work at improving the physical environment in which we live. One relatively easy way to ameliorate the air quality in our homes is to use nature...houseplants. Read more about how to achieve a breath of fresh air in your home "15 Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality".