My lifestyle medicine class at Northwestern Medical School is doing a great assignment this month called a behavior change plan, or BCP. I love this and am inviting you all to join me in your own BCP! Choose a behavior you want to work on, monitor it over a normal week, then make a specific plan to change this behavior over the next three weeks.
The behavior can be anything that’s related to your overall health, and can be something you want to increase, decrease, or add. Here are some examples: miles walked, money spent eating out, number of different colors of fruits/vegetables eaten, hours of sleep, minutes spent working out, number or negative/stressful thoughts…
Whatever you choose as your behavior, make it realistic to achieve in three weeks, specific, have a strong motivation, and have a way to measure it - essentially, you need a “what, when, where, why, how”!
It’s important to have someone to keep you accountable and motivated! My idea is that we can help each other with this! Twice a week, I will post a question/poll on my story to ask how your BCP is going! This will give you a way to share your progress, any struggles, and how you’re feeling! Posting this at the beginning of the week will reinvigorate our vision for our goals as we start the week, and posting in the middle of the week will be a good reminder when things get busy.
What’s my BCP? I will add regular meditation and mindfulness into my weekly routine! I took a meditation class last fall in college and really loved it, and I also learned a lot about meditation from Angel’s awesome restorative yoga class at Barre and Soul.
I am always going and doing things. I like this about myself because I am full of ideas and love being busy, involved, and trying to learn and explore as much as I can. But, it means that I’m almost always thinking about what I need to do next, and don’t give myself and my mind a chance to be still and present. I try to be mindful and ground myself every so often, but I really think it would make a big difference if I did this regularly. So I am going to try to incorporate at least 10-15 minutes of mindful meditation daily. I will share this with you to help me with this goal! I’m trying to keep it realistic and I imagine some days I will do more and some days I might do less, so this is my goal for now. It seems like a small goal, but I think it will be enough to be meaningful.
Take some time to think about something you might want to change that would make a difference in your health and happiness. Think about why this matters to you, and ways you could make a change. Come up with a plan, and join me in the BCP this month!