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Many people are able to make changes in their daily lives, however maintaining change is one of our biggest struggles. ‘Old habits die hard’ is a term that you have no doubt heard before. Interestingly enough, the first two weeks of changing any habit is the hardest. Many studies on behaviour change state that once you get through the first two weeks, not only does it get easier to stick with the change, but the change has become the new habit. The new healthier habit.

MOTIVATION

  • When making the decision to make changes to your behaviour, whether it be changes to what we eat, activities, intake of alcohol, or even changes to our job/ where we work; we must be motivated to do so.
  • In order to gather motivation, we can do a ‘costs vs benefits analyses’ otherwise known as – do a pros & cons list! Get a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and list the benefits of changing the behaviour under the pros, and write the disadvantages in changing the behavior on the other side. How do they weigh up?
  • When you decide that changing your eating behaviours is something that you want to do, the next step is continuing to maintain our motivation.
  • The best way to do this is regularly remind yourself of the benefits of changing your behaviour – aka “What motivated you to change?”

ATTITUDE

  • Having a positive attitude towards change and a hopeful attitude that you will succeed has a huge impact on your ability to change your behaviour.
  • Being open to the idea of change, and being willing to confront our negative self-talk is vital for your change journey.
  • When you find yourself, saying things like “this isn’t going to work”, or “I can’t do this”. Ask yourself, how do you know this to be true? How do you know that it isn’t going to work if you’ve only tried it for a few days?
  • Sometimes our resistance to change, allows us to talk ourselves out of changing because changing is hard, particularly in the beginning.

OPPORTUNITY

  • Opportunity can be a barrier to successful change.
  • In relation to changing our food habits, this refers to our opportunity to eat junk food, or fall back into old eating habits.
  • Having junk food in the house provides the opportunity to fall back into old habits.
  • Try to minimize your opportunities by removing those temptations.

SOCIAL SYSTEM

  • The people you surround yourself with is another key factor in the change process.
  • It’s important that you are connected with people that are supportive of your change and or encourage the change when things get tough.
  • Seeking out good role models and connecting with people that are also on the change journey can significantly increase your ability to achieve your change goals.

WILLPOWER

  • Willpower relates to your ability to voluntarily maintain control over your behaviours regardless of the hurdles that can make change tough.
  • Willpower relates to you sticking with it! Set achievable goals, reach them, re-evaluate and set the next.
  • When things get tough, remember what motivated you to have a go at changing, and remind yourself of the work that you have already done to get this far.

SKILLPOWER

  • Cravings for foods or to go back to your old ways are normal. It’s what you do with the craving when it comes about, that is important. Just because you get the craving, doesn’t mean you need to act on it. Most cravings pass within a few minutes.
  • Skill power is about learning about nutrition, being organised so that you have enough food, so that you can avoid situations where you’re hungry and reach for the convenience food.
  • Skill power is what we gain from seeking advice, listening and learning from our coach and the pros, and then putting in the time and preparation.

Amy G