Change is probably one of the most important actions in our life. Changing behavior is one of the most difficult things to do in life and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Although “change” is a simple word, the process of change is complicated, no matter what you are trying to change. If you have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diabetes or any medical condition that can improve with lifestyle changes, wish to lose weight or want a better relationship, your readiness to change will make the difference in your long term success.
“READY” is defined as, “completely prepared” or “in condition for immediate action”. Therefore one of the best ways to ensure you will achieve your health goals is to get ready.
Desperately wanting something does not get you to “ready”. Trying your best or even going through the motions will not change behavior. In order to get on the right track to reach your goals, you must get “ready” to change your behavior.
Determine and list your goals in order to prepare for action. This is all about Y-O-U! So, you will be the best person to determine what your goals are. No one (not your parents, spouse, health expert) can tell you how to prioritize or make priorities for your life. Priorities must come from you.
Make weekly appointments with yourself. Set a date and time, put it on the calendar or you may never get the time you need to take care of yourself. You do not have to make changes and start adaptations alone, enlist someone or a few people to help. Studies show the more support on board from friends, family or healthcare experts, the higher your success rate.
So round up as many people as possible who are willing to truly support you. Be honest with yourself; make sure those who support you provide unconditional help. Be prepared to deal with those who are not supportive in any way necessary.
- List your goals.
- List specific actions that must be made.
- Describe how you will execute your plan.
- List behaviors that will contribute to success.
- Think about the barriers you will have to overcome and plan on how to change and adapt behavior to achieve victory.
- Learn from mistakes and plan for success the next time you experience a hurdle.
Accept the fact that behavior change is not easy and you will experience setbacks. Even if you do not jump over the hurdle, pick yourself up re-try. If you can embrace the “pick-ups” because there will be many, you will achieve.
How will I learn new behaviors and let go of poor behaviors?
How can I anticipate a behavior relapse?
How can I maintain motivation?
What are the benefits?
What are the drawbacks of my changes?
No one else can do this for you but you. Denial and avoidance will get you nowhere. Take the bull by the horns and GO for a healthy lifestyle, improve a diagnosis or relationship. It will likely be an opportunity for improved quality of life and good health not only for you but everyone around you.
Get ready, get set and go for it! There is no quick fix in life. No matter what it is, you can make a change for the better by taking these steps and exchanging poor behaviors for positive actions. It may take time but it will be well worth your efforts.