Identify the benefits of change
- Think about how your lifestyle is affecting your health and happiness: is your current lifestyle costing you your health?
- Do you avoid activities or social events due to your health or weight?
- Would making a change benefit you?
Think about the barriers to change
- Identify the barriers to change and think about how you could overcome those barriers.
- Some changes can be made easily while other changes will take more time.
- Start with small changes that are easier to achieve.
Make a plan of action
- In order to make change, you must plan.
- Change will involve new behaviours, new routines and forming new habits.
- Recruit family, friends and colleagues as your support team, or find other ways of ensuring you have support for your changes.
- Start your new routine and gradually build up your lifestyle to support your goal.
- If increased fitness is your goal try to build activity into your routine as well as exercising.
- For example, add a walk to an outing, walk to the shops or public transport.
- Try to increase your physical activity in small steps by looking for opportunities to be active every day.
- In order to maintain your new lifestyle, you must reward yourself for reaching your goals.
- Acknowledge and reward your successes in healthy ways – go out with friends, see a movie, have a healthy treat, or do something active and fun.
Manage any relapses
- It’s quite normal to find yourself lapsing into old habits.
- Don’t despair or get too down on yourself.
- Try to return to your healthy behaviours as soon as possible.
- Permanent change requires a new behaviour or activity being incorporated into your lifestyle in order to become a habit and part of your daily routine.