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Changing the World, One Intern at a Time

By: Katherine Cichowski, Intern

After eighteen years of continuous schooling, the prospects of working full time outside of academia can be equally exciting and daunting. As eager as I have been to enter the “real world” and apply the knowledge I have acquired, the thought of my work impacting more than my personal grade was rather frightening. Ready or not, it was time to begin the last piece of my Master of Public Health degree–an internship at HealthSource Solutions.

I have heard countless stories of classmates becoming glorified paper filers and copiers during their internships. Thus, it became a goal of mine to avoid this and find an organization that would give me an experience as true to what my career will be like as possible. To my luck I found HealthSource Solutions, which gave me an experience quite the opposite of a filer or copier. I never expected to have so many enriching opportunities! Throughout the past couple months, I have been able to join development and review teams, attend client meetings, and work at health screenings and fairs, along with many other valuable experiences. Never did I feel that my thoughts and work were less important than anyone else's. The trust I felt from everyone at HealthSource increased my desire to work harder and produce higher quality work, as well as crave the constructive criticism necessary to help me improve.

While the past several years of my life have revolved around learning theories of behavior change and about the social and environmental impacts on health, nothing can compare to the practical knowledge I have gained while interning for the past two months. Of course, classes, projects and studying are necessary, but the experience gained in the field has proved to be irreplaceable. These past few months would not have been as valuable without the encouragement and mentoring of everyone at HealthSource Solutions. Needless to say, thanks to everyone at HealthSource Solutions my fear of entering the workplace has subsided and the determination and enthusiasm to change the world has once again found a place in my heart.

Making Resolutions Stick

By: Kelly Berte, Program Manager

Resolutions. Making changes. It’s hard.  It’s daunting to think about.  Even the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and by a time) way is sometimes more than you want to think about.  Let’s review some of the keys to successful goal setting. First thing's first: figure out something you want to change, not just something you know you should change.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORANT PART.  You’ve got to really want it.

  • Prioritize by your own feelings.  If there is something you might find easiest to change first, do that.  Any change toward the healthier is better than none at all.
  •  If you start with things you find easy to change, that puts a positive energy/attitude toward it because of success – thus making it more likely that you’ll attempt another small change for your health because you feel confident that you can!
  • It helps to make sure the thing you’re changing can easily be identified (like checking something off a list) so you know if you’ve taken the steps toward achieving it.  You shouldn’t have to guess.
  • Finally, make sure you put a “check-in” with yourself on the calendar.  For example: if you start going to the gym regularly this week, right away, put a reminder on the calendar for a check-in.  Usually 8 weeks from now is a good first time. 

When that time comes, re-assess: 1) Are you still going to the gym?  2) What are you getting out of what you’re doing now?  If you stopped going to the gym – what are you getting out of the time you are not spending at the gym?  If you are still going to the gym, what are you getting out of that?  Basically ask yourself the question, “What am I doing that makes me happy?”  The answer to that question is the basis for why you either will ultimately stick to or not stick to your resolution.

It’s important not to judge yourself for what you do. Judging yourself can create a negative self image. Instead, perhaps ask yourself why you set the goal in the first place. This will remind you of what you’ll gain by accomplishing it. Positivity is important, it’s the motivator.

Remember, habits are hard to change – so if you’re not keeping up with a habit change, it’s likely that you weren’t getting enough out of it. You aren’t doomed to be who you are right now forever. Life changes. You change. TRY AGAIN.

You’ve got options. Try either the same thing, or something new.  Then ask yourself, why am I doing this?  If it’s a priority, you’ll know why right away, you’ll be positive about it and it’s more likely that you’ll keep it up.

Change is uncomfortable – otherwise we’d do it more often. But, if you are really ready to see a change, you’ll be willing to put in some effort for it.  It’ll be your idea. It’ll be your will, and for that, there is always a way.