At the beginning of January you may have been gung ho about your resolution. Perhaps it was not as compelling as promises you made to yourself about behavior change when you were hospitalized with chest pain, but your intentions were and still are real. Take heart, behavior change is a process which occurs over a period of months and for some years. Each small step you take toward healthier living is a step in the right direction. You are practicing for the time when it will “stick.”
I encourage you to again look at your present state with compassionate honesty without judgement. What is going on with you? What progress have you made? Check out where you want to go now? Who do you have to be in order to be the person you envision?
What is your next step? What is your ongoing step? What is the support you need to continue moving forward to your life of vitality?
Here are some ideas of what have been helpful to others in renewing commitments. Some you may already be familiar with from previous posts, but they are worth repeating.
List the reasons why you want to make the change, emphasize the benefits you’ll have by making this change. Then, post the list where you’ll see it. Remember to look at it too.
Make SMART goals which are related to the change (see post of Jan. 12, 2012) Review your plan. Research has shown that people follow through with actions only when they are at least 70% confident they can do the action; the A-ttainable part of your SMART goal.
Get the support you need – tell family and friends about the change and ask them to cheer you on, hire a coach to be your ally, or ask a friend or acquaintance to be an accountability partner – perhaps someone you met through cardiac rehab or a support group.
Share what’s keeping your heart in the mode of change, and please share this post with anyone you think might benefit.
P.S. February is Heart Health month, we’ll get back to focus on the heart next week.