Making Positive Changes

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I moved house this week. I have been thinking about it for a long time but kept finding excuses for not acting on it. I let things like time get in the way and was worried about the cost. But if I am honest, I had not really done my sums and cost turned out to be a force barrier. Once I had a put a plan in place the time situation could be worked around. My friends and family were a fantastic support network; I did not have to ask for help, they were simply there for me.


During the process things inevitably did not go to plan and I often felt out of control. There were times when I felt like giving up and staying where I was; it seemed like an easier option. But I had to keep saying to myself, if I did not make this change, I would remain unhappy, that’s not good for anyone.


After an extremely stressful moving day I am now in my new home. Adjusting to a different environment will take time and I am sure I will find some unexpected surprises. However, I am now in a better place both physically and mentally.


There has been a lot of research relating to people making positive changes to their health. The following model was originally based on individuals giving up smoking but is now widely recognised as common stages of change.

The Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change)

  1. Precontemplation – In this stage, people do not intend to take action in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). People are often unaware that their behaviour is problematic or produces negative consequences. People in this stage often underestimate the pros of changing behaviour and place too much emphasis on the cons of changing behaviour.
  2. Contemplation – In this stage, people are intending to start the healthy behaviour in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). People recognise that their behaviour may be problematic, and a more thoughtful and practical consideration of the pros and cons of changing the behaviour takes place, with equal emphasis placed on both. Even with this recognition, people may still feel ambivalent toward changing their behaviour.
  3. Preparation (Determination) – In this stage, people are ready to take action within the next 30 days. People start to take small steps toward the behaviour change, and they believe changing their behaviour can lead to a healthier life.
  4. Action – In this stage, people have recently changed their behaviour (defined as within the last 6 months) and intend to keep moving forward with that behaviour change. People may exhibit this by modifying their problem behaviour or acquiring new healthy behaviours.
  5. Maintenance – In this stage, people have sustained their behaviour change for a while (defined as more than 6 months) and intend to maintain the behaviour change going forward. People in this stage work to prevent relapse to earlier stages.
  6. Termination – In this stage, people have no desire to return to their unhealthy behaviours and are sure they will not relapse. Since this is rarely reached, and people tend to stay in the maintenance stage, this stage is often not considered in health promotion programs.



If you want to make positive health changes it is important you recognise the stages of change and plan strategies to get through them. There will be times when you lapse but that does not mean you have failed. You just need to get back on it! And remember to use your support network, WALX COAST AND COUNTRY!






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