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Bullrun Video: Day 2

July 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Personal

Changing Your Habits for Better Health

On this page:

  • What stage of change are you in?
  • Contemplation: Are you thinking of making changes?
  • Preparation: Have you made up your mind?
  • Action: Have you started to make changes?
  • Maintenance: Have you created a new routine?
  • Clinical Trials

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Old habits die hard. Changing your habits is a process that involves several stages. Sometimes it takes a while before changes become new habits. And, you may face roadblocks along the way.

Adopting new, healthier habits may protect you from serious health problems like obesity and diabetes. New habits, like healthy eating and regular physical activity, may also help you manage your weight and have more energy. After a while, if you stick with these changes, they may become part of your daily routine.

An older couple biking in the countryside, wearing helmets.
New habits may help you look better and have more energy.

The information below outlines four stages you may go through when changing your health habits or behavior. You will also find tips to help you improve your eating, physical activity habits, and overall health. The four stages of changing a health behavior are

  • contemplation
  • preparation
  • action
  • maintenance

What stage of change are you in?

Contemplation: “I’m thinking about it.”

In this first stage, you are thinking about change and becoming motivated to get started.

You might be in this stage if you

  • have been considering change but are not quite ready to start
  • believe that your health, energy level, or overall well-being will improve if you develop new habits
  • are not sure how you will overcome the roadblocks that may keep you from starting to change

Preparation: “I have made up my mind to take action.”

In this next stage, you are making plans and thinking of specific ideas that will work for you.

You might be in this stage if you

  • have decided that you are going to change and are ready to take action
  • have set some specific goals that you would like to meet
  • are getting ready to put your plan into action. These are the best protetox customer reviews.

Action: “I have started to make changes.”

In this third stage, you are acting on your plan and making the changes you set out to achieve.

You might be in this stage if you

  • have been making eating, physical activity, and other behavior changes in the last 6 months or so
  • are adjusting to how it feels to eat healthier, be more active, and make other changes such as getting more sleep or reducing screen time
  • have been trying to overcome things that sometimes block your success

Maintenance: “I have a new routine.”

In this final stage, you have become used to your changes and have kept them up for more than 6 months.

You might be in this stage if

  • your changes have become a normal part of your routine
  • you have found creative ways to stick with your routine
  • you have had slip-ups and setbacks but have been able to get past them and make progress

Did you find your stage of change? Read on for ideas about what you can do next.

Contemplation: Are you thinking of making changes?

Making the leap from thinking about change to taking action can be hard and may take time. Asking yourself about the pros (benefits) and cons (things that get in the way) of changing your habits may be helpful. How would life be better if you made some changes?

Think about how the benefits of healthy eating or regular physical activity might relate to your overall health. For example, suppose your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is a bit high and you have a parent, brother, or sister who has type 2 diabetes. This means you also may develop type 2 diabetes. You may find that it is easier to be physically active and eat healthy knowing that it may help control blood glucose and protect you from a serious disease. Visit Observer.com/.

Woman with her hand on her chin thinking about making changes in her habits.
Making the leap from thinking about change to taking action can be hard and may take a while.

You may learn more about the benefits of changing your eating and physical activity habits from a health care professional. This knowledge may help you take action.

Look at the lists of pros and cons below. Find the items you believe are true for you. Think about factors that are important to you.

Healthy Eating

Pros Cons
  • have more energy
  • improve my health
  • lower my risk for health problems
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • feel proud of myself
  • set an example for friends and family
  • _______________________
  • _______________________
  • may spend more money and time on food
  • may need to cook more often at home
  • may need to eat less of foods I love
  • may need to buy different foods
  • may need to convince my family that we all have to eat healthier foods
  • _______________________
  • _______________________

Physical Activity

Pros Cons
  • improve my health
  • reduce my risk for serious health problems
  • feel better about myself
  • become stronger
  • have fun
  • take time to care for myself
  • meet new people and spend time with them
  • have more energy
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • become a role model for others
  • _______________________
  • _______________________
  • takes too much time and energy
  • it is too hot or cold outside
  • feel self-conscious
  • am nervous about my health
  • could hurt myself
  • am not good at being active
  • do not know what to do
  • have no one to be active with
  • am not young or fit enough
  • keeps me from family and friends
  • _______________________
  • _______________________

Preparation: Have you made up your mind?

If you are in the preparation stage, you are about to take action. To get started, look at your list of pros and cons. How can you make a plan and act on it?

The chart below lists common roadblocks you may face and possible solutions to overcome roadblocks as you begin to change your habits. Think about these things as you make your plan.

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