Happy New Year!!!
The ball has dropped in Times Square and it is official. 2015 has begun!!
What do you think of when you think of the New Year? Fireworks? New Year’s Resolutions? If you considered making one or two resolutions then you are not alone. Some popular New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, saving money, or starting over on any number of things. However, one does not have to wait for the New Year to start over and make a new resolution. A commitment to do things differently can be made whenever one perceives a need to make a change happen.
Most placed a higher value on romance and relationship than on sex alone. Many young people who are sexually active regret it and desire to “take a time out” or “start over,” but do not know how. In the July 2014 Advisory, we discussed the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change Theory that states change progresses over time in a series of stages– pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Recent modifications assess the motivation and level of satisfaction with sexual activity. Without the inclusion of these contextual factors, young people often repeat sexual risk situations that may result in even higher frustration with their inability to carry through with their sexual decision making.1
One’s chances for successful behavior change increase with the number of change attempts, and the number of attempts will indicate their mindset. A young woman in my practice struggled in her desire to take a time out from sex until she married e. She states she was only successful when she learned to change three things: her choices in music, movies and friends. She said she found resistance to change from her girlfriends and had to let some go. Sometimes one cannot do what they thought they could and fail initially, but they can get back up again and get back up again. Success in delaying sexual activity comes with a resolution to start over until “a time certain”. It is helpful to write down the vision and make it plain so you can run with it.
- Establish some future goals – completing education, avoiding risk of pregnancy or STI’s
- Concentrate on building a healthy relationship without sexual activity.
- Select an accountability mentor, counselor, educator, spiritual advisor, or trusted friend
Only the person can choose how he or she acts. However, we as caring adults can greatly influence them. Like my grandmother used to say, “When you know better, you do better.”
What did you resolve to do this New Year? A person is never too young or too old to make a change. Consider: a person has never made too many bad decisions that negate their ability to make a healthier one. One can change their minds and put the necessary steps in place to change their behavior. Change may be tough, but is necessary for the benefit of a healthier lifestyle.
- Michels, T. M., Kropp, R.Y., Eyre, S. L., & Halpern-Felsher, B. L. (2005). Intiating sexual experience: How do young adolescents make decisions regarding sexual activity? Journal of Research on Adolescence, 15(4), 583-607
Freda McKissic Bush, MD – President/CEO
Freda McKissic Bush, M.D is a Fellow in the ACOG and a practicing OB-GYN. She is CEO of The Medical Institute for Sexual Health and has co-authored two books with Founder Joe S. McIlhaney, MD, HOOKED, and Girls UNCOVERED. Dr. Bush is a Clinical Instructor in the Departments of OB-GYN and Family Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Married to Lee Bush they have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren.