We are multi-taskers; we spend our days trying to do so many things at the same time, all in the name of efficiency and accomplishment, or so we think. Most often, our multi-focus results in strong feelings of getting nowhere fast or being too busy, swamped, and just plain overwhelmed. What would it be like to be ‘whelmed,’ to have a sense of completeness and an ability to manage our lives on a daily basis? For many of our clients, their hectic lives are overlaid with some kind of health issue that profoundly compounds their sense of overwhelm. Thus, no matter what the health issue – diabetes, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition/diet, overweightness – very likely the issue must seem so large that clients don’t know where to begin or they consider it pointless to even try to change. However, assuming your client is ready and wanting to make a change, what might be needed is a manageable place to start. Chunking down is a concept used mostly with memory tasks or with time management or with establishing priorities. The basic idea is to make what seems large, manageable or smaller. One chunking tactic is to have your client draw a wheel that represents his/her health issue, say diet. Then, ask your client to divide the wheel into sections and label each component part or chunk of the issue as your client perceives those chunks – lack of time to prepare healthy food; snacking between meals; high fat and fast food consumption etc. Then, invite them to choose a chunk, one part that they are willing to identify as a place to start. In effect, by creating the wheel, breaking it down into chunks, and identifying one chunk as an entry point, your client has self-created a plan and a place for both of you to begin to work on the health issue, a place that has buy-in for her or him and one that you both can use to create goals, get your client into action, and into a place of whelm rather than overwhelm. Keep a copy of the wheel in your client’s file to use as a reminder for future work and even for assessing client satisfaction with her or his progress. By the way, we find using wheels to be a very effective method to help motivate our clients, reinforce their work, and meet manageable goals. They can be very specific – a diabetes’ wheel – or very general – an overall health wheel. Specific or general, they really do work to chunk issues down into controllable components.
- Monarch Level 1 Motivational Interviewing Workshop for the WECHC ~ 2 X half-days, 22 & 29 January 2021 [via Zoom] on January 22, 2021 9:00 am
- Monarch Level 2, Advanced Motivational Interviewing Workshop for the WECHC ~ 2 X half-days, 26 Feb & 5 March 2021 [via Zoom] on February 26, 2021 9:00 am
- Monarch Level 3 Motivational Interviewing Progressive Workshop for the WECHC ~ 2 X half-days, 7 & 14 May 2021 [via Zoom] on May 7, 2021 9:00 am