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  • Esther Orioli 12:32 pm on January 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , new years resolution, , stress,   

    It always happens right about now…. 

    I start hearing stories from friends who are beating themselves up about their failed New Years resolutions. Who fell off the diet, who went back to sugar, who has already stopped going to the gym after a brief time of 5 days a week, who can’t stop smoking, who wanted to spend more quality time with family. It’s painful really. And avoidable really.

    I tried to talk with them before they started down this path. And they did politely listen. I suppose I should feel a certain smug “I told you so” glory – yet no such thing. Their angst prompts me to get better at communicating the truths I know about how to change behaviors. And, believe me, I get it. It hurts to fail at something you really thought you could do and had announced prematurely to so many people. How many times I wished I had kept my own mouth shut about some goal before its time.

    When consoling my disenchanted friends and colleagues, the first thing I want them to know is that they haven’t done anything wrong. They didn’t fail because they are weak or lazy. They failed because they don’t have the right model for making change. Period.

    Most people set big goals and hope for grandiose results. This is the first ingredient in the recipe for failure. Start instead with small, manageable behaviors, and pick just one. Our research has shown that, despite what the multi-taskers tell you, working on two or more tasks at a time ends in doing none of them well.

    When you want to finish a project, stop fighting with your spouse, manage stress, be more adaptable or the one everybody wants to do – lose weight, you have to use the right model to get to the finish line and not just to January 15th.

    Helping people make change simply, successfully and as painlessly as possible is what I do for a living. I want folks to be successful at making change with a model that really works. And for sure, I don’t want to hear this litany from my loved ones again next January. You’ve got one year starting right now….

    Check out my video! Change Is A Pain

  • Esther Orioli 12:19 pm on January 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , resilience, resiliency, , stress,   

    Skinny people don’t have stress 

    What a ridiculous statement to make! But recently I was speaking at a conference on health and wellness and it sure sounded like that’s what they meant. The answer to everything was lose weight, stop smoking, eat right and exercise.

    What advice do they have for people who are struggling with chronic illness, too much distress at work, or dealing with real grief and depression? You guessed it – lose weight, stop smoking, eat right and exercise.

    So what do skinny, non-smoking, fit, healthy people do about stress? It all points out just how stress illiterate we really are.

    Stress is a very complex subject. It’s not just a health issue or a diet issue or a weight issue. It’s also a medical issue and a legal issue and a productivity issue and family issue and quality of life issue. Stress owns its own domain and as such requires a whole new way of understanding and dealing with its complexities. So when it comes to stress we’ve got to move beyond deep breathing and broccoli into a new definition of stress management.

    As a stress expert I explain that this most complicated of issues can be addressed in the simplest of ways: the best way to manage stress is to shorten the amount of time that passes between when you notice your distress and when you respond to it. When the body goes into a “Red Alert” – the natural stress response to real or imagined danger – everything in your body changes. From the hormones that are released into your bloodstream to the sharpness of your eyesight and the acuity of your hearing, your body is trying to give you a fighting chance to survive the attack.

    That attack can be your boss piling on another project with a tight deadline, or you struggling with the issues of aging parents, maybe a co-worker is not pulling her weight or you have to have a difficult conversation with a friend. Whatever it is, your body responds internally to the threat even if your mouth or your actions never do.

    So, you might need to lose weight, stop smoking, eat right and exercise but if I were you, I’d focus on listening to my body and responding to those “red alerts” as soon as you can. Who knows, giving your body what it needs just might make you skinny.

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