Whether you have a New Year’s resolution or simply want to be healthier, here are five tips to help you undertake your positive health behaviour changes. Of course, our psychologists can also help increase your motivation to help you decide to follow these tips!
1. Don’t give up!
The majority of people who have undertaken a positive health behaviour change have tried and relapsed several times before actually achieving their goal. This reveals that it is normal for relapses to occur – the trick is to never give up! It’s just like rolling dice: you may only have a one in six chance of rolling a 1, but as long as you keep on rolling the dice over and over again, you will eventually succeed at rolling that 1.
2. Write down the barriers that could impede changes and foresee the solutions
For example, write the barriers that could prevent you from eating better or exercising more. Then, find a concrete and detailed solution to each barrier. For example, you could write down a detailed plan of what to do at lunchtime when you’re pressed for time, you forgot to pack a lunch and you’re starving… you may feel a fast food restaurant is your only option, but do you have to choose the unhealthy, high saturated fat meal? By planning ahead, you can do some research and find out which restaurants closest to you offer a healthy meal option. But then the question is: do you really want to give up that tasty, high saturated fat meal when you really crave it? To solve that problem, we would need to use the strategies described in steps 3 and 4.
3. Write what motivates you to change
Studies have shown that if you write down your goals and why these changes are important, you will be more likely to remain motivated until you reach those goals. On the contrary, if you do not find any purpose or valid reasons for these changes, the achievement of your goals will be more difficult.
4. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals
Studies have shown that you are more likely to reach your goals if they are Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Time delimited.
5. Get help!
Why seek for assistance? Because, when you get help it increases your chances of success. There are many strategies in addition to the ones briefly described above that a psychologist using the methods of motivational interviewing can use to help you undertake a healthy lifestyle change. Find out more by contacting us.
We are here to help you.
For more information on our services, or for help on deciding which of our team psychologists to choose, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic coordinator at 514-337-2473, ext. 0, and it is with great pleasure that we will discuss with you the psychological services we can offer you.