Jen’s Story:Achieving Goals Built Positive Habits & Positivity
I first get snippets of Jen’s story from the Better Choices, Better Health® (BCBH) user survey she completed. She writes:
“So my situation was unique because I’m a registered nurse. As a nurse, you’re always helping other people and don’t tend to deal with your own stuff. I had taken care of my elderly parents for 17 years and I really struggled with grief when my mom passed 3 years ago. When the opportunity came up to sign up for BCBH, I thought it would help with my depression and anxiety. “
And I am intrigued to talk with her because she found so much piling up all at once. It turns out on top of her own health challenges, her mom’s passing, and the general stressors of life, she had stuck herself with a needle during work and had to go on treatment to prevent HIV. Certainly, a unique situation but also one that I think resonates with so many – just being too overwhelmed to make time to care for oneself.
“Anything to add why you signed up?” I ask when I get Jen on the phone. “Honestly,” she pauses a second, “initially it was for the 150 points I get…” I lean back a bit in my chair as she hurries to continue, “but I have to say to others, be open-minded and you’ll get a lot from it.” Of course I love the endorsement, but I want to return to her story.
“What made the most impact for you?” I ask.
“The thing that was the most helpful for me was the weekly goal,” she said. “It sounds simple but I would set a new goal, review if I accomplished it, and repeat those steps. Being accountable was really important to me. They weren’t difficult goals, but they were concrete and measurable. I really did achieve the goals each week. And they built on each other as well. It has remained a habit now months after the workshop has concluded. It builds my positivity to achieve these ”
Jen adds “I was in a tough place. I was still dealing with my mother’s death, and the treatment to prevent HIV after the needle stick made me sick. I was home for a month because of that. It was really amazing to see how much I got from achieving those goals – how it built my confidence and positivity.“
I can almost hear Jen smiling a bit as she continues, “My daughter even got sucked into the positivity; she could see her mom was happier. So I guess maybe after all…” she pauses, “I guess, well everyone has a struggle that’s personal to them, but there is something here that works for all of us.”