Behaviour change is an ongoing process. It requires a person to interrupt a habit and foster a new one. The process can be difficult and takes time. In fact, it can take two months for a change to become habitual. A health professional can help people through this process.
To change your behavior, it is important to understand your motivations and core values. It is most effective to focus on goals that are closely related to your values. For example, you may want to spend more time with your family or stay mentally sharp well into old age. In any case, when starting a new health behavior, ask yourself why you want to adopt it. If you think it’s purely for personal benefit, you may be better off pursuing a different goal.
Health behaviour researchers have identified five stages in behaviour change. The first phase is pre-contemplation, whereby an individual becomes aware of their problem behaviour. They then learn about the consequences of their behaviour and prepare for change. A health professional’s advice or a member of their family may prompt them to move into the contemplation phase. The next phase is action, whereby a person begins to implement the new behaviour. Once the new behaviour has been established, it needs to be maintained in order to ensure it remains healthy.
Changing behavior can significantly affect a person’s long-term health. Changing habits is important, but it’s important to start with small, manageable changes that you can measure. The first small step can often be the hardest, but it’s essential to keep in mind that the journey of change begins with one tiny step.
Email: [email protected]