Man cannot discover new oceans
unless he has the courage to lose sight
of the shore - Andre Gide
Change takes time...
We live in a society with many levels of quick information and instant gratification. However, not so with change! Change takes time…it's never finished, only maintained! According to the Journal of Extension, change is the consistent practice of a new behavior. Behavioral change is more likely to occur when skills are practiced over time. For some, change may be necessary to prevent or manage a health condition like diabetes or heart disease.
In order to practice change, several self-perceptions critical to behavior change have to line up:
- First, is the question "is this personally important?"
- Second, "are you ready?"
- Third, "do you believe you can make the change?"
Through life, we find ourselves at different points of change. The Stages of Change model of health behavior teach that change occurs gradually from no interest (pre-contemplation) to considering change (contemplation), and a decision to make a change (preparation). A genuine change includes a determined effort (action) which leads to a new behavior (maintenance).
During times of change – hang on, it's hard! Remember, even though you may not see it immediatetly, change is occurring on both the inside and the outside. If you fall, keep moving forward. Sometimes we go forward, and then a little bit backward, but the goal is to keep moving! Change is hard and finding the motivation to change is a personal challenge. Ask yourself, "What are the benefits of making a change?" and "What will happen if I don't change?" Getting there is easier with setting goals and consistent practice of a new behavior. Use resources to practice new behaviors with health information, recipes, ideas for physical activities, and ways to monitor progress.