Even though we may choose to start the new year off with the utmost tenacity and determination, after only a few short weeks, our motivations can sometimes fade away. Why do we fail? Perhaps we overestimate how much time we have, or maybe our goals are a bit too farfetched to realistically accomplish. So, what makes change such a hard thing to accomplish? Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada says that, “people make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, [but] people [usually] aren’t ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate.” Another interesting psychological reasoning for failure was identified by a different psychology professor, Peter Herman and his colleagues. They call it the “false hope syndrome,” and “it means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth.”
With these things in mind, take a different approach this year. Choose goals that you can stick with throughout the New Year and the years to come, such as placing awareness on your well-being and reconnecting with friends and family. Prioritizing your hearing health is a great way to achieve both at the same time! Start small and consider these pragmatic hearing health ideas to get started:
- Get your hearing tested. On average, it takes seven years for individuals to seek treatment for hearing loss. And hearing loss is notorious for worsening over time. So, if you suspect that your hearing is diminishing, or if you have difficulty navigating listening scenarios that used to be easy — it’s time for a hearing evaluation from a local hearing healthcare professional. Getting started on your journey towards better hearing means you’ll be able to embrace those experiences that are most special
- Become your own advocate. If you’ve already been diagnosed with hearing loss, make it a point to advocate for yourself. Hearing loss has often been referred to as “the invisible condition” because people can’t outwardly see its presence. This makes it hard for many individuals to remember (or even acknowledge) that they are struggling with it every day. Remind your friends, family and coworkers of your hearing loss whenever appropriate. Mention your hearing needs to a hostess when making dinner reservations. Utilize closed-captioning when watching the television or a Telecoil at theaters or in other large spaces. Making these things a habit will help them become routine — and will also boost your confidence
- Be consistent in wearing your hearing aids. Whether you’re already a seasoned hearing aid wearer, or if it is your first time, do your best to wear your hearing instruments as often as possible — keep them in even when it’s difficult to do so. It’s crucial to give yourself (and your brain) the right amount of time to adjust and adapt to the new level of sound, so choosing to put them in and keep them in will only be beneficial in the long run
- Get involved with the hearing loss community. With over 48 million individuals in the United States living with hearing loss (Hearing Loss Association of America), know that you are not alone. The hearing loss and hearing health communities are some of the strongest, most supportive groups of people in the world — get to know them! Find a local Hearing Loss Association of America group and go to meetings. Get support from people with similar experiences and learn about strategies, technological advancements and other resources that can help you thrive on your journey towards better hearing
- Discover new hearing technology. Every day, new innovations are introduced to the hearing health communities. And every day, hearing care professionals uncover new ways to meet a variety of hearing needs. But who says you can’t do some of your own exploring to see what could work best for you. Not sure where to start? Collaborate with your hearing care professional to find out what styles/options might be best for you
It’s never too late to choose to be empowered by your hearing journey. Taking control of your hearing health means you’re on the road to prioritizing what’s important – you!