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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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New Year, New Challenges, But We Got This!


by Catherine

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This is my first blog post of 2020 and it feels great to be back.  The holidays are a magical time of the year, but my passion for occupational science and occupational therapy puts a little more pep in my step when I walk into CHP.  And while we are talking about the subject of the new year, we cannot exclude the popular tradition of setting goals, resolutions for our self!  I had an interesting discussion recently during my OT 649 course about health behavior change models and in particular, Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), that might provide you some insight if you feel that you are having trouble sticking to any resolutions of your own. 

In short, SCT states that people are in charge of their lives and environment and can be motivated to overcome challenges through a positive sense of self efficacy.  This theory can inform health promoting behavior change interventions in occupational therapy, and other health professions.  In other words, we are taking about the just right challenge.

One of the requirements of during the first semester of the OTD program is to pass the NBCOT exam and become a certified occupational therapist.  Trying to juggle my residency hours in preparation for the 2019 Occupational Science Symposium, attending class, and studying for the boards required a lot of balancing priorities and self-control.  I did not think that I had the mental and physical capacity to achieve this goal.  What got me through this time was the support from faculty, colleagues, and the overall sense of community I have always been provided here at Chan.  This support allowed me to maintain a level of self-efficacy that motivated me to overcome my doubts and proactively push myself to close the gap of what I thought I could not do, and what I wanted to do.  And according the SCT, self-efficacy is key.

Experiencing and overcoming the challenges of the Fall semester has enabled me to increase my sense of self-efficacy and will motivate me to challenge myself in this semester, and the next.  ntil I achieve my long-term goal to obtain my OTD degree!  So if you feel like you might not be able to keep up with your news year resolutions, find yourself a cheerleader, adjust the goal, tackle it in parts, instead of going to the gym 5 days a week, start with today.  And then next time, your mind and body will know, if you did it once, you can do it again, and you will be better positioned to go twice a week, and then three times a week, until you ultimately reach your goal.

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