During the next few weeks, just prior to January 1, our brains begin to process the “Oh no! A new year is about to arrive! It’s time to make another New Year’s resolution!” And then, the thought we all try to suppress… “… which I’ll give up by the end of January.”
Yikes! That’s no way to get started, feeling as if we’re going to fail before we even get going!
I’m no different. I undertake this annual process just like everyone else does. And yes, usually by the end of January, I’m as guilty as almost everyone else who gives up on their resolutions, too. Year after year after year…
This year…. OK, so this year I’m promising myself it’s going to be different. You know the definition of insanity – it’s repeating the same behavior and expecting different results, so THIS year, I’m going to try NOT to repeat the same behavior.
… Starting with timing and its effect on preparation. Part of the problem is timing! We expect to throw the switch on changing out a bad habit, or any non-productive habitual behavior (or lack thereof) – but we just aren’t prepared to make that change. Is it possible that lack of preparation is what has stymied us in the past? Is it possible that better preparation for such big changes will improve our success rates?
Here’s what I’m talking about… two personal examples, both putting me out on a limb, but in an effort to lead by example for you I’m making a vow to change – and I’m doing it NOW, before January 1. I am prepared. I have a running start….
The first behavior I am changing: I MUST be more diligent about the Alliance’s presence on Facebook. Personally, I just don’t like Facebook. It’s a huge timesuck and I honestly don’t care about the detritus of people’s lives. Not that I don’t love my family and friends – and APHA members of course! – I do! And when I read about happiness (or sadness), or birthdays, or anniversaries, or whatever the event might be – all good. (And, OK, I do laugh out loud at some of the stuff they share.) But I don’t care about being sucked into politics or religion or high school reunions or Christmas shopping or even THEIR grandchildren (most of the time). While I recognize that some people love all that sharing, it’s just not my thing. And on Facebook it cannot be avoided.
But I MUST separate my aversion for Facebook from what needs to be done for APHA and AdvoConnection. So in the spirit of trying to set the stage – planning the change – this time around, I did not wait until January 1.
- I have already cleaned up and kickstarted the AdvoConnection Facebook page. Patients and caregivers who need advocates are AdvoConnection’s target audience, so this page is for them. The intent is to drive them to the AdvoConnection Directory so they will find all of you to help them.
- And I have built a new (because it never existed before!) Facebook page for APHA. The Alliance page will speak to advocates and advocate wannabes… potential new members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.
Please click on both those links above – and follow and share us! Then watch over the next weeks, months and years. You’re invited to get on my case if I don’t post at least once or twice a week to them…. The ripple effect is that they will help all of YOU.
OK – behavior change #2: this will come as no surprise to anyone who I have met in person – I am NOT good about exercise and have been overweight all my life – well at least since my first marriage. (OK all you pop psychologists – have a field day with that one!) So preparation is already underway to start regular exercise in 2016. Yes – as of last week hubby and I have joined the Y. All those machines, the pool, the pickle ball courts – they are calling my name. I am starting that exercise program NOW. Sore. Achy. SO VERY out of shape. But I’m doing it, including, literally, blocking out the time on my calendar so I won’t schedule other things in place of it – so that hopefully in the future, when I meet new people, my lousy non-exercise habit won’t be among their first judgments of me.
So there you go… I’m off to a running start (well, OK, at least treadmill start)…
What insanity do you plan to stop? Better yet – What sanity do you plan to adopt? Can you prepare now, today, before January 1 rolls around to prevent that feeling of being overwhelmed? Slow but steady – prepare NOW to improve your chances for success. Here are some things you might plan – for which APHA can help:
- start a blog
- start an email newsletter (collect email addresses)
- choose one new social media platform, learn, and engage
- set up a public speaking engagement
- throw the switch – open the doors to your new advocacy practice
- take courses to help improve your practice
That’s a start – for you to plan for NOW!
Good luck! Let us know how you’re doing. And a toast to you and your success in the new year!
We’ll check back in a few months to see how well our early planning has helped…
This week we spotlight Annette Ticoras, from
Guided Patient Services in Columbus, Ohio