We all know that change doesn’t happen by chance. It’s definitely a complex subject and there is a lot of research and debate about what it takes to change. We all want to make the best choices when it comes to how we live our lives, but knowing what advice to follow can be confusing. Rather than throwing our hands up in the air with despair, we are here to help! We (the MB Team) know that change is possible. Being ‘your best you’ is not a pie in the sky ideal, its real.
For everyday people like us, one of the easiest ways of beginning to understand change is through stages (see below)1.
There are a few things to point out here. Firstly, we will probably fail (more than once) in our attempt to move from one stage to the next. Failure is good, as long as we learn from it. So be prepared to cycle through one or more of these stages several times before progressing onto the next stage. In other words, let’s not beat ourselves up for not nailing it the first time around.
The second point is about planning. Most of us don’t expect and hence don’t plan to fall off the wagon (ah that pesky Relapse Stage!) and this is where things come undone. We need to plan for failure. When we relapse and/or revert (and we will), it just means we need to repeat that stage. Repeating a stage is not a set back and it’s not a reason to give up either. Actually it’s the reverse. The practice and preparation we’ve put in will pay off as long as we’ve learned from our previous attempts what to do and how to do it, what not to do and how not to do it, what presents as a weakness (the things we think make us less resilient), what triggers us to respond in the way we do and how to utilise our strengths. We need to learn from and about ourselves. This requires a plan. Creating a plan will get us through the second time around with fewer hurdles and more speed.
To help us all make positive changes in our lives, we’ve developed a few concepts, tools, tips and articles that we hope you find useful:
1 Prochaska, JO; Velicer, WF. The transtheoretical model of health behavior change. Am J Health Promot 1997
Sep–Oct;12(1):38–48. Accessed 2009 Mar 18.