Friday, August 5, 2011

Tips on making positive lifestyle changes

Whether you are trying to improve your fitness, quit smoking, manage a chronic ailment or manage your stress, each these require what is known as 'Therapeutic lifestyle changes'. Having the desire alone is not enough. You need to translate what is in your mind into concrete plans and actions in order to CHANGE and see the results. And don't expect to see results overnight.

Here are some quick tips for positive and therapeutic lifestyle changes:

1) Identify your GOAL -
what do you want to achieve.Formulate a SMART goal. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

2) Next, identify your BARRIERS -
What is causing the problems?
What methods or resources have you tried?
What worked and what didn't?

Keeping record or a diary can help you to get a better understanding on the barriers.

3) PLAN -
draw a mind-map or simply write down a list of possible coping methods for each of your barriers. Discuss with your health care providers, family and friends or read up about the issue.

4) DO -
carry out your plans by taking baby steps. Don't rush. Focus on overcoming one barrier at a time.
Gradually integrating the changes into your life to make them part of your habits would make things more sustainable in the future.

5) MOTIVATE - yourself to keep it up.
It can be with some compelling reasons or family / friends support. Keep a record of how good you feel about the changes and your 'baby achievements' towards your ultimate goal.

There might be sacrifices along the way to success as making the change is certainly not easy. The key to success is to NEVER GIVE UP. If you fail or relapse, make modifications to these 5 steps in your plan-to-change and do it again.

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