"Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes Stick"     

How many times have you started out to make healthy lifestyle changes to lose weight, eat healthier, or start exercising only to have your efforts fizzle out?  

Here you can identify the factors that hold you back and then get you on the right track to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Getting Ready for Healthy Lifestyle  Changes

First let’s talk about the need to move away from being motivated to change by fear, guilt or regret or doing it because someone else wants you to before you're ready.

Long lasting results come from a sense that you're doing it for yourself for whatever reason is most important to you.

This is not the time to be a people pleaser; it's all about you now.  Just discover what motivates you and work on keeping a positive attitude.

Research has shown that clearly defined, specific goals make it a lot easier when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes. Instead of saying you'll exercise every day say "I will walk one hour every day, I will do three repetitions of free weights every morning, or no snacking after dinner.

It's also a good idea to set immediate, achievable goals like drinking 8 glasses of water a day, switching from soft drinks to water and taking the stairs when you're out and about.  This is the time to find healthier substitutes to stand in place of the unhealthy ones.

Steps to Healthy Lifestyle Changes

There are numerous steps that make up the creation of healthy lifestyle changes, with one of the most important being, seeing where you run into trouble and why.

The Trans Theoretical Model also referred to as TTM is based on the belief that there are 6 stages a person goes through in the process of changing a behavior.  

The TTM is designed to help identify where a person is in the process of change.  Each stage is a form of readiness or acceptance of their behavior and the willingness to do what it takes to change…No matter the lifestyle behavior you wish to change.

Find your stage below, learn how to get started and make your  healthy lifestyle changes long term...

Steps to take in The Six Stages of Change

Step 1...

Precontemplation stage 1 - During the "precontemplation" stage of change you don’t even think of making any lifestyle changes.

If you want to move out of this stage, you will need to take a good hard look at yourself and evaluate if you need to make any lifestyle changes.  If you want to lose weight. Weigh yourself, take your body fat percentage, and see if you could stand to lose a few pounds.

If so, you are ready to move to step 2.

Step 2...

Contemplation stage 2 - In the contemplation stage you've come to realize you have problems, are making excuses and are at the very least, just like the word says, contemplating change.

Sometimes people stay at  this step up to six months, before they go from having decided to actually doing.  This healthy living tip is worth pondering in order to get going.

Once you have realized that you need to change a behavior, for example if you want to lose weight, you will need to think about how to do so effectively. You now know you need to change your behavior and start losing weight, and you now realize that the advantages of losing weight outweigh the disadvantages.

To move forward from this stage, think about how much happier and healthier you would be if you were a few pounds lighter.

Step 3...

Preparation is stage 3: During the preparation stage, you're really starting to get serious and reviewing your options.

This means you are at the point of jumping in to make changes soon.  It helps to take baby steps, to help it sink in and become better habits.  This is the stage where you seek support from others to help.  This is also a good time to consult with your physician about healthy lifestyle changes.

Now that you have realized that you really do need to lose weight or whatever behavior you want to change, you will need to prepare to take action.

 If you are going in for the weight loss you will need to create your healthy weight loss plan. Find the diet that will work best for you, evaluate your lifestyle to make needed changes, and do research into physical exercise programs. This is the step to create the healthy weight loss plan which will help you to shed the extra weight.

You are now ready to take action.

Step 4...

Action Stage 4: Now you take action, this is where the work begins.  Start stocking the kitchen with healthy foods.

Get up,  get out of your house and start running, jogging, dancing, swimming, climbing, learning karate, doing yoga, or anything that you enjoy that will get you active.

Not talking about one of those boot camps where you get tired just thinking about it.

Engage in positive self talk, set achievable goals and most importantly, having a plan for relieving stress which also leads back to exercise.

It helps during this stage to maintain focus on the process rather than end result, the healthy lifestyle changes will come.  This is where the support sought for in the third stage is so important.  Every little bit of help and encouragement during this phase helps you to grow stronger.

This is a vulnerable stage, and it helps to be around positive influences and avoid people and situations that will drag you back into your old ways. This is a healthy living tip is worth printing and posting it so you remember…

This step requires that you start following your healthy weight loss plan, and eat the right foods that will help you to lose weight. Take the first step forward and get started, regardless of how hard it will be.

Step 5...

Stage of TTM is maintenance:  Once you've been maintaining a healthy lifestyle for six months, you've learned how to sustain it, and even if you fall off course once in awhile, you understand that you can get right back on track.

During this time you are conditioning to the changes, you make a conscious decision daily to stick with your healthy lifestyle changes over the bad habits that once ruled you.

Learning to deal with your behavior when stressful situations come up will help you to remain strong and steady, maintaining your lifestyle changes.  The support you acquired is crucial in this stage as you make the changes permanent.

Step 6...

The sixth stage is Termination: This is the point where the behavioral modification is complete, and the changes are now good habits.  It means you are living a healthy lifestyle, and the bad habits are a thing of the past.

 If you went in for weight loss, you have successfully lost the weight and now have developed habits of healthy eating along with proper exercise to maintain the weight loss for life.

This stages means you no longer need a vast support system to keep you in check, because you no longer desire the old ways, or you are able to resist the urges to go back.

You are now drawing on “Self efficacy” where you feel empowered to change any lifestyle behavior you wish.

Commit yourself to making small, manageable changes to the way you live, know what to expect, deal with it and you will definitely see results.

To learn more about Trans Theoretical Model click here.

Start gaining the benefits of health lifestyle change today.