The Challenge of Change

I have worked in health, safety and behavior change in one form or another for over 30 years. More specifically, I have worked in industrial health, safety and behavior change for over 20 of those years. Changing behaviors, even when an individual seeks out that change, is often difficult and fraught with frustration and failure. Gaining change within populations who are not seeking change, and worse, who may not believe they need or want the planned change, brings on a whole new set of challenges! Because change is more successful when we want it, this presentation is, in large part, about how to sell the desired change and how to get real results for people who are too busy to incorporate important lifestyle factors to stay healthy. Simply put, we have got to WANT the change enough to make it happen!

Traditional Goal Setting and What's Missing with Change Planning
Identifying Goals and Defining the Problem and Proposed Change

We have most likely all heard of the acronym S.M.A.R.T in relation to goal setting. There are variations on the meaning behind each letter, but it generally stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. While SMART Goals are a good idea and an important part of planning, they do not ensure success in making change, and they most certainly do not assure the attainment of long term success. So what does assure success, in the short term and in the long term? Personal value, simplicity, purpose and measured success, all of which vary from person to person and vary within different environments and circumstances. It is important, therefore, to consider these components when identifying the "Problem" to be addressed and to build them into the proposed goal and change.

Given that we may have many health problems to address and each of those likely has many potential fixes, it would be helpful to have a formula to help us with this change process, both for ourselves, and for our organizations. We must figure out what makes the most sense if we are going to have a positive outcome. And this is exactly what we are going to do next, from beginning to end, from conception to results, and beyond!

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