How do we know if we are ready for change? In short, ask yourself two questions:
- How important is it for you to change? Give it a score out of 10. You need self-motivation for this and so explore the question “what’s in it for me?”
- How confident are you to make the change? Give it a score out of 10. You need self-confidence for this and so do you trust your own capabilities and qualities?
If you score above 7 for both, then you are more likely to be ready for change and to accomplish your goal.
Our behavior is a key determinant of our health. The root cause behind lifestyle-related diseases is unhealthy behavior. This includes eating a highly processed, poor quality diet, not being physically active, not sleeping adequately, having poor stress-coping skills, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and the lack of social connectedness. In order to prevent, treat or reverse lifestyle-related diseases, we need to start with health behavior change.
This is exactly what attracted me to the field of Lifestyle Medicine. Motivating health behavior change is the “engine room of Lifestyle Medicine”. Unless an unhealthy behavior is changed, it will be impossible to cure the “downstream” effects of such a behavior.
The study of Lifestyle Medicine has taught me the skills to assess a patient’s “readiness to change” and then, based on their stage of change, to implement appropriate interventions to support successful behavior change. This is the first step that needs to be taken to achieve health.
And so I ask you again: “Are you ready for change?”