Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Many people in America need to change in some way or another.  Americans have become unfit, unhealthy, overweight, have high stress levels, and deal with pain and disability on a daily basis.  We all could use a little help with changing our daily routine, our diets, and our other health habits to live healthier and more comfortable lives.  Everyone out there has some room for improvement.  The new year always comes with its ‘resolutions’ but the majority of people do not hang on to these for the long haul; this is part of the reason we need to have new resolutions each and every year.  “If you try to make a change but fail to stick with it, you may feel as if there is something wrong with you and your determination”1  But there isn’t!

Almost everyone has trouble keeping the change in their life.  “Otherwise we would be a nation of calm thin, salad eaters.”1  We need to understand that making change is an ongoing process.  In the late 1970’s a psychology professor found that in order to completely change, especially lifestyle changes, we need to go through five distinct stages.  Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

"Precontemplation is the stage at which you don’t intend to change a particular behavior in the foreseeable future. In the contemplation stage, you first start considering change, but you are still undecided about when to undertake it. That’s followed by the preparation stage, during which you make firm plans to change your behavior soon. Next is the action stage, when you actually begin exercising, dieting, or adopting some other healthy behavior. Finally, you reach the maintenance stage, by which time you have kept up the new behavior for several months. At this point, you are working to make your new habits permanent and trying not to backslide."1

Does your physical therapist keep telling you that you need to correct your posture?  Does your physician tell you that you need to change your diet in order to decrease you blood pressure or control your diabetes?  Have you been thinking about losing weight?  Are you having a hard time joining or going to the gym?  If so, you are ready for change.  Let's do it!

Over the next couple blog posts we will talk about each of these steps, what they entail, what needs to be overcome and how to move to the next stage.