The Best Well-Being Programs Foster Hope

Hope: not just a happy feeling

It’s also an important precursor to change, concludes counseling expert Fred Hanna, PhD. “At its peak, hope involves not only seeing the future as experienceable but actually inviting or welcoming the future as preferable to the present.”1

“My A1c was 10.2 when I started this program. I went in this past week and it is now 8.1; so if I continue to work on this I believe I can reach my goal of 5.2. I am so glad they offer this program.”Colorful Choices participant

Well-being challenges cultivate hope when participants adopt new habits — like daily walking or eating more vegetables — and see proof of progress. This can take the form of improved clinical markers, increased energy, more endurance for daily activities, clothes fitting looser, better moods, and enhanced health-related quality of life, for example. They feel more confident and start believing they have what it takes to change their lives for the better.

Hope is contagious

When participants share good news about making progress and feeling hopeful about their results, their peers are inspired to hang in there and stick with it, too. Make sure your participants have a way to share their successes.

Well-being pros work hard every day to help people live healthier, happier lives. Keep in mind that we’re not just teaching people how to eat better and exercise more. We’re fostering hope… and hope changes lives.


1. Hanna, Fred J, Therapy With Difficult Clients — Using the Precursors Model to Awaken Change, American Psychological Association, 2002


Beth ShepardBeth Shepard
Well-being consultant, educator, writer |ICHWC National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach |ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist |Lifestyle medicine advocate |25+ years in wellness |Jazz enthusiast.

2 Comments. Leave new

Nice article Beth–you are exactly right about hope and the future when it comes to behavior change.

Ellen Houston
August 20, 2018 1:06 pm

Well said, without hope behavior change is impossible.


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