2018 has been an exciting year and we wanted to share the highlights with you. We look forward to continuing our efforts so that we may support every one of the faculty and staff of our member colleges to bring their best selves to life and work every day.
From Monday, February 4th though Sunday, March 3rd we invite you and your family members to join us in a four week “Mind Body Challenge”. We will be partnering with Wellable to support our challenge participants to practice daily activities that reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance and productivity and increase overall well-being. Participants will be provided with practical tools and strategies to help them gain more focus and presence in their everyday life. Each week participants will be entered into a raffle to win fabulous prizes. To register click here. We hope you’ll join us.
New Year’s resolutions….we’ve all set them but how many of those resolutions have actually taken hold? We decide that this is going to be the year we get active, lose those last ten pounds, clean out the garage, start saving for retirement, etc. We get fired up thinking about what we will achieve but by Valentine’s Day we’ve long forgotten about those resolutions. Why is it that something that sounds so good and may actually be in our best interest is so quick to fall by the wayside?
Well…it all has to do with habits. Merriam Webster defines a habit as “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.” A habit is like driving your car on a dirt road in mud season. The more you do it, the deeper the ruts get and the harder it is to pull your car out. Habits are easy. They’re familiar and comfortable. They require no thinking and as the definition states, are often involuntary. The idea that we can change a habit or develop a new habit in only twenty or even sixty days is nonsense. Think about how long you’ve been behaving like you do, driving in that same rut. Those ruts are deep. It will take patience, time and consistent practice to form a new path, a new habit, but there are things we can do to facilitate the process.
According to author James Clear (Clear, 2018) there are five strategies which can dramatically help us change or implement a new habit. 1) don’t try to change everything at once; 2) start small; 3) focus on the process instead of the outcome; 4) pay attention to the environment; 5) remember that small changes can lead to big results. You can hear more from James here. I’d like to add a sixth strategy tp James’s list and that is to connect with your “why”. In her book, “Emotional Agility” (2016), author and Harvard professor, Susan David says that “when you discover and reconnect with the things that really matter to you, your daily decisions will be much easier”. When we have a strong emotional connection to our values it’s much easier to choose the right action.
So, when you’re thinking about what you want to achieve in 2019, think also about who you want to be and how you want to live your life. Define the outcomes you want and the values you want to uphold. Let your values guide your actions. Utilize James’s five strategies to help you get one percent better everyday and you’ll be amazed at where you’ll be one year from now.
Want to learn more? Check out these great resources:
Brewer, J. (2016, February 24). A simple way to bread a bad habit [TED talk]. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-moW9jvvMr4.
Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: An easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
David, S. (2016). Emotional agility: Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
Duhigg, C. (2012). The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and in business. New York, NY: Random House.
Goldsmith, M. (2015). Triggers: Creating behavior that lasts-Becoming the person you want to be. New York, NY: Crown Publishing.
Read the latest issue of GMHEC’s “The Connection” newsletter here.
With another year coming to a close it seems only fitting that we look back and reflect upon another year gone by. While we may think about goals we’ve accomplished, experiences we’ve had, projects we’ve completed, things we didn’t get done, opportunities we didn’t take or actions we didn’t take on goals we wanted to accomplish, many of us also wonder where the time went. Where did the year go? We are so busy rushing around from one thing to the next, never feeling that we have the time. We ruminate on the past, worry about the future and all the while we forget that live is happening now…in this moment. The year went by and many of us missed it.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward the another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.” Living in the present moment is only path to true well-being and fulfillment but in today’s fast past world, living in the present is a challenge. Living mindfully, in the present moment is simple but it is not always easy. However, with practice we can develop the habits to help us be successful and to not let another year go by without fully living it.
To support the faculty, staff and family members of the Consortium colleges, we will be launching a
November is Diabetes Awareness Month so what better time to talk about diabetes and prediabetes. According to the CDC more than 30 million Americans have diabetes and one in three adults has prediabetes. Ninety percent of those with prediabetes don’t even know it. The consequences of diabetes, both physical and financial can be dire. People with diabetes are at increased risk of dementia, hearing and vision loss, heart disease, kidney failure, lower leg amputations, depression, dental decay and tooth loss, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, bone fractures and nerve pain. As if that wasn’t enough, in Vermont diabetes is one of four chronic health conditions that is responsible for fifty percent of all deaths. Not only do people with diabetes suffer physically but they also suffer financially. People with diabetes spend up to 2.3 times more on their health care costs than do their healthy counterparts. Continue reading One out of three Americans has prediabetes and 90% don’t even know it. Could you be one of them?
Stress. We all experience it and it seems to be getting worse. In fact, the results of the 2017 “Stress in America” survey done by the American Psychological Association showed “a statistically significant increase in stress for the first time since the survey was first conducted in 2007” (American Psychological Association, 2017). We’re stressed about our safety, money, our jobs, the economy and our future, and this is wreaking havoc on our health and well-being. Continue reading Emotional intelligence…the antidote to stress and the key to well-being?
When we think of good nutrition we often think about food but we don’t often think about water. In addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, water is one of the six essential nutrients. The adult human body is approximately sixty percent water and we cannot live without it. Water plays a key role in every body process including regulation of body temperature, joint lubrication, removal of waste products, delivery of oxygen to body tissues and is essential in the formation of saliva which starts the process of digestion (Cross, 2018). Continue reading Water….a critical nutrient that we may not be getting enough of
“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – Michael Pollan
Eating too many eggs will raise your cholesterol. It’s safe to consume eggs everyday. Saturated fat cause heart disease. There is no evidence that saturated fats increase one’s risk of heart disease. Carbohydrates are fattening. Maintaining a diet high in complex carbohydrates may be protective against weight gain. Organic foods are healthier. There is no difference in the nutrient content of organic and conventionally grown food. And on and on and on….. Continue reading Nutrition: Let’s get back to basics
When we think about well-being, specifically physical well-being, often the first things that come to mind are physical activity and a healthy diet. While these two elements certainly do contribute to our physical well-being, sleep is also essential and may be the piece that many of us are missing. More and more research is coming out about the importance of sleep and the connection between sleep, health and disease. Even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our body, mind and spirit. Continue reading Sleep….the missing ingredient in your well-being?