Wellness Philosophy: Change

Have you known there is something you need to change for awhile now and done nothing about it?

We’ve written a lot about lifestyle–and we’ve suggested many lifestyle changes–but today the topic is changing, because, honestly, that’s the hardest part. You can educate yourself all you want about health and still be unhealthy if you don’t make changes–there are many unhealthy students in medical school.

In 1984 Proshaska and DiClemente described five stages of the change process called the Transtheoretical Model of Change:

1. Pre-contemplation: One has no intention of changing in the future. This stage is often the product of ignorance, denial or discouraging experiences.

Congratulations to those in this stage–reading this blog is already step forward in regards to your health! Continue to educate yourself. Everyone–even the experts–can learn more about total health.

If you are dealing with denial or a discouraging past, I encourage you to start by learning about the nervous system: (here is a sneak peek!) what you regularly think about causes your brain to make it easier to think about those things. But YOU control how you think. So banish negative thinking and remove the limitations of discouragement and denial. Open your mind to the possibility of needing improvement in some areas and allow yourself confidence in your ability work on those areas.

2. Contemplation: One plans to make changes in the next 6 months, but remains stagnant. One who continually weighs pros and cons may be stuck in this stage for a long period of time.

If you are in this stage: well done on initial education. Now, do not focus on any inconvenient implications of a longterm change on your daily life; break large goals into smaller, more manageable steps.

For example, to change your diet: when you plan meals, shop, or sit down at a restaurant, focus on making a good decision on that meal. The same goes for another popular change: exercise. The small step of even getting dressed for a workout everyday–and moving around while you are dressed for it–can encourage you to start working out everyday. You will reap the rewards of small steps even if you fail once in a while. Do not be overwhelmed by the total effort a change will require.

3. Preparation: One is active in planning for immediate changes and those in the coming month. Individuals in this category will make little steps towards big changes; one may collect information, locate resources or address the things in his or her life that are hindering the desired changes.

Good for you! My advice for you is to keep it up and put your plans into action. Perhaps, let someone know about your plans who will be able to keep you accountable for putting them into motion.

4. Action: One has made tangible changes that can be observed.

A round of applause goes out to these individuals! Now, do what it takes to keep yourself motivated–be it putting your running shoes where you will see them, making a “No processed food in the house” rule, or putting encouraging reminder post-its around the house to think positively. One good option is asking a persistent close friend to help you keep yourself accountable for your efforts every week in continuing your goals. Keeping a diary is also a good idea to help yourself see progress and keep going when it gets difficult.

5. Maintenance: One has had success with changes made and works towards keeping those patterns in place and not falling back into old habits.

SUCCESS! But, to borrow a cliché, you have probably come to realize it will be a marathon, not a sprint. Be encouraged, all your hard work and effort will be a good habit in just 40 days.  Do what it takes to keep the changes you have made. Make goals that push you to keep growing and working on other areas: If you are now in shape then compete, race, or learn a new activity such as  meditation.. If you are now eating healthfully , share what you have done with others–or start a healthful eating blog! (And let me know–I’d love to read it!) You get the idea. And don’t forget to share your story and encourage others!

Maybe there is a change you need to make in your eating habits or an exercise plan you need to start. Perhaps you need to sleep more or breathe better. Whatever it is: what stage are you in? When you honestly evaluate your lifestyle and where you stand on change, you can begin to move forward in your health. I have found the most successful people in life  are those who shorten the time it takes  to get from Pre-contemplation to  Action.

Do you have a story of a life change you have made? What are you seeking to change in your life now? Please share  with us your stories and comments! Or, feel free to email drclaps@clapschiropractic.com.

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~ by danclaps on July 26, 2012.

4 Responses to “Wellness Philosophy: Change”

  1. […] physical, spiritual, relational, social and nutritional. Are you struggling with making changes? Wellness Philosophy: Change is the previous post for […]

  2. […] work better. Regular visits to a chiropractor are advised, but sleeping with a good pillow is an easy step you can take immediately to promote your […]

  3. […] any questions or comments. Check out the last post in the “Wellness Philosophy” series here. Rate this:Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintTumblrPinterestLinkedInStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe […]

  4. […] 8. Like Nike says, “Just Do It”. You’re worth it, your family is worth it, the nation is worth it. Commit and follow through. […]

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