Making sense of making change

20.03.17

Making a commitment to change your lifestyle habits is exciting, but sticking to these changes long term can be challenging.

That’s why it’s important to remember that change is a process, not an event. Did you know that if you’re ready to make a lifestyle change, you have already taken a step on the path to a healthier you?

Let’s take a look at what ‘readiness to change’ means and how this concept can help you work towards your health goal all year round.

How do I know if I’m ready to change?

The five-step ‘Stages of Change Model’ is an approach to behaviour change that is used widely across health settings. Anyone who wants to make a change can use this model as a way of assessing their situation and helping to come up with strategies to make the change a reality.

Say, for example, your doctor suggests you might want to consider making healthier food choices. The following five steps are the basis of the process you could use to evaluate whether you can develop a sustainable new habit of healthier eating.

 

You may find you enter and exit the model at various stages as you seek a lasting change to a health behaviour.

Ask for support

If you want to make a change to your lifestyle habits, or you’re not sure if you’re ready to make one that’s been suggested to you, talk it over with a qualified health professional.

Your GP is a good place to start, but others like a pharmacist, an accredited practising dietitian, an exercise physiologist, and a psychologist may be able to help too. You don’t have to do it alone!

Sources:

Model adapted from: Boston University School of Public Health. Behavioural Change Models [Online; last updated Jan 2015; accessed Mar 2017] Available from: www.sphweb.bumc.edu

Harvard Health Publications. Why it’s hard to change unhealthy behaviour – and why you should keep trying [Online; last updated Jun 2009; accessed Nov 2015] Available from: www.health.harvard.edu