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Time for Change

Time for Change

Pivoting from the current pandemic, much in the way that New Year’s resolutions allow us a chance to pivot, gives us an opportunity to self-reflect on our own health goals. Perhaps getting back to “normal” isn’t what is best for our wellness. Remember, change is a process, not an event. Change is hard. It’s messy. There is seldom a straight line from our desire to change to the reality of attaining these lifestyle goals. Whether you are looking to modify your diet, improve your sleep quality, engage in regular exercise, or balance your home and work demands, success can only occur when you understand where you are in the process of change. 

There are six stages of change (defined by the work of Prochaska and Di Clemente, entitled The Transtheoretical Model). Their work, completed during the ‘70s, compared smokers who were able to quit on their own with those smokers that needed additional support and treatment. They determined that people quit smoking if they were ready to do so. Habitual behavior change occurs in a nonlinear pattern of which relapse may be welcome from time to time on the journey. Each stage of change relies on specific tools and strategies relevant to that stage in order to help and maintain the new behavior. A thoughtful and practical consideration of where you are on this continuum ensures movement through it. 

Is my goal S.M.A.R.T.? 

Start small and realistic. Let’s use the example of “I want to exercise more” (that’s only wishful thinking).

S pecific – What exactly do you want to achieve? Ex: 30 minutes 3 times a week 

M easurable – How will you know when you’ve achieved it? Ex: Completed 3 times per week
A ttainable – Is it something you have control over? Ex: Walk twice a week and yoga once a week 

R elevant – Why is this applicable to your life? Ex: Want to add more flexibility with yoga
T ime-based – When do you want to achieve your goal? Ex: Will add 4th day of exercise in 3 months 

Be kind to yourself but accountable as you begin your journey to “rediscover wellness”.

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