When clients are doing well they can identify what they changed about their behaviour quite easily, but as time goes by they may forget the specifics of what they were doing that made them feel so great, and therefore they lose the ability to audit themselves to make sure they are continuing with those specific behaviours.
A great way to remind them is to use a postcard.
Use this activity as the focus of a follow up session when things are going well.
1. Ask them to identify what they are doing differently from their old behaviour that has given them these results. Maybe they find it hard to be specific, so you may need to drag it out of them. Document the specifics in your notes. Eg. walking every day for 40 minutes, having a salad instead of a burger for lunch and using a portion control bowl for cereal to serve just ½ cup (or whatever it is).
2. Give them an attractive postcard with a motivational saying or inspirational quote on it. Ask them to write a post card to their future self who may not feel as great as they do today specifying the things that they hope they are still doing. Eg. Dear Jane, I feel fantastic! I’m walking 40 minutes every day, have switched from burgers to salads for lunch and I always use my portion control bowl to serve my cereal so I know I’m getting it right. I hope you are too! Love Jane.
3. While they complete their postcard, you complete the envelope, addressing it to them and jot the month that is 6 months into the future on the envelope where the stamp will go.
4. Put it aside in a special place and once a month check which ones are ready to be sent.
5. Your client will be surprised and amused to receive this postcard from their past self but it will also give them a clear and relevant checklist for continued behaviour change. They’ll also think of you. If they slipped off the bandwagon, here is the perfect prompt to remind them how well they were doing while they were consulting you.