Spark

Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

Turning Everyday Choices into Long-Term Success

December 1, 2015

At the Center for Spirituality & Healing, we often talk as a team about the importance of living the work, and not just doing the work. In other words, we are challenged — by endless email, long to-do lists, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. This fall, we hosted two speakers as part of our Wellbeing Lecture Series that prompted considerable reflection and action. Kristin Neff brought a message of self-compassion and the power of vulnerability. Tom Rath, author of Eat, Move, Sleep, highlighted the importance of choices we make everyday, choices that shape our lives in the near term and impact our odds of having a long and healthy life.

We know from research on behavior change that small steps are important and that it is helpful to have another person hold you accountable. Rath cites one study in his book that found that a simple check-in from another person nearly doubled each participant’s activity over the span of a year. This is actually quite a profound finding — it takes more than just individual willpower to change behavior. In addition to peer support, structuring the physical environment can help maximize success. For example, having healthy food in your home and workplace increases the odds of eating healthy! This kind of structuring helps to create situations where you will make healthy choices because it is easier than making unhealthy choices.

To support our individual and collective wellbeing, the Center team is in the process of self-examination. During this process, we are sharing with each other what we are personally doing to increase our own wellbeing and are gathering ideas from teammates about what we could do collectively at the Center to enhance the wellbeing of the team. We are striving to put what we know into action! Stay tuned, ask how we are doing, and consider exploring the importance of wellbeing in the workplace with your colleagues.

On behalf of the Center faculty and staff, we wish you peace and wellbeing during the holiday season and in the new year.

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Mandala is a biannual magazine produced by Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. It captures the core aspects of the Center: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation, and the ongoing journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu