With the change of seasons it seems like a good time to talk about change. Behavioural change is a fundamental part of holistic health as diet and lifestyle changes go hand in hand with the therapeutic order and overall philosophy of Naturopathy.
In this blog I want to share with you 3 things that I want to change in my personal life and the formula I use to implement changes.
- Exercise – I have been in recovery from chronic fatigue for a while now and I’m ready to start doing exercise again. It feels difficult to make a start because the last time I tried to exercise my body let me down.
- I want to start meditating consistently on a daily basis.
- I want to have 6 waking hours/day of screen free time.
What would you like to change in your life?
First let’s talk about the concept change. Everything in life is in a constant state of change and we are changing all the time from a cellular level to a spiritual level, as individuals and as a species. All living things are undergoing constant change as part of the natural cycle of life. Change is a necessary part of everyday life with some changes being easy, unconscious and beneficial, and other changes being difficult, problematic and uncomfortable. It is how we adapt to change that defines our resilience and quality of life.
The stages of change
In the pre-contemplation state we are unaware that we need to make a change. In the contemplation stage we are becoming aware that we need to make a change but are not quite ready to do it. In the preparation stage we are both aware and preparing to take action. In the action stage we are making the change and in the maintenance stage we are being consistent with the change. There is always a chance of relapse at any stage of the change model.
Formula for changing your life and your health
- Write a list of what you want to change
- Create 3 SMART goals
- Brainstorm any challenges or obstacles that may prevent your success in making these changes
- Identify strategies on how to overcome any barriers to your success
- Create a maintenance plan
- Create a relapse plan
- Reformat your goals into actionable and systematic steps in a prioritised sequence
- Phone 3 friends – ask them to support you with these changes and to keep you accountable
- Commit to and action your SMART goals
- Reward yourself – eg. Massage, holiday, Epsom salt bath, a good book, a good film, day at the spa, new dress
A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example I will go for a 20 minute walk 3 days per week for the month of October.
As you move through the steps of the change formula ask yourself at step 9 “how committed am I to making this change on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the most committed”)? If the answer is 10 ask yourself again, what barriers may present as I implement this change and how can I overcome them? If the answer is anything less than 10 ask yourself “what do I need or what would it take to shift one degree closer to a 10?
- Lead by example
- Don’t give up
- Practice makes perfect (but you don’t have to be perfect you just have to try)
- Keep setting goals
- Write it down
- Find support
I hope you have found this useful and I would love to hear how it goes for you as you change your life and your health! If you would like further support and health coaching take advantage of the Spring Special with a 25% discount off your first consultation. Discount applies to skype consults too.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and information purposes only and is not intended as personal advice nor is it a substitute for personal health advice. Please see your healthcare practitioner if anything you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.