Sometimes we notice a problem about our health or wellbeing, but we aren’t ready to do anything about it – we act like ostriches, until something else sparks us to act or intervenes.

What actually makes us make changes?  Our personal life philosophy impacts on our health beliefs which in turn guides our behaviours.  For example, whether we take our health and wellness issues seriously and act in making positive lifestyle changes.

Our mindset needs to change from thinking about change to actually making change.  Planning can help you switch from being a thinker to a doer.

We are also more likely to be ready to make changes if we have confidence in our ability to be successful.  This is called self-efficacy.  It’s a fancy term for self-confidence in achieving our goals.

How do we gain confidence in making change?

I’ve talked before about having a specific goal here; one or more goals can give you confidence and change your mindset because you know what you are trying to achieve and you are becoming a doer.

Having an idea of how you plan to achieve your goals will give you confidence, too.  Setting short term goals (think week by week) will help.

But the thing we often forget about is we need knowledge in what to do.  What changes will we make?  What behaviours will we adopt?

This is where seeking out experts for guidance can be helpful.  While google is useful, googling health and wellness can have pitfalls – some experts aren’t so expert – make sure you check out their credentials or ask your doctor if they can recommend someone to help inform you.

What if you find an expert and their ideas don’t really gel with yours?  You’ve got two options, either give them a try or find a different expert.

Okay, now you have a goal and you have the information to help you achieve your goal.  What next?  This is where you need to put your nose to the grindstone, although not literally.  We’ve previously talked about overcoming procrastination here so it’s time to get on with making changes, cementing those changes into new behaviours – so you make those choices everyday, not just once or twice a week.  This takes perseverance.

Yes, you’ll fall off the wagon, so to speak, but consider the Stoic philosophy; yes, you’ve fallen off the wagon, acknowledge that and move on.

It is what it is.

Tomorrow is a new day.  In fact, the next half hour is a new half hour – you can get back on the horse right now and re-start your plan to achieve your goal!

It’s a bit like meditation.  It’s sooo hard to maintain focus on your breathing – my mind keeps wandering to what I’m doing tomorrow, what I’m cooking for dinner tonight, what my next blog article will be about…  But I drag my mind back to my breathing.  Each time it gets easier.  Each time I achieve a longer focus.  Trying to maintain new behaviours is just like that.  Keep doing it, keep going back to that behaviour and sooner or later you’ll be doing it most of the time and you’ll nearly have achieved your goal.

This week I challenge you, my reader, to set one new goal which requires you to make one change.  Now – switch that mindset to action and get going!

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Post byDale Cooke

I'm a nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer with 29 years of experience helping people improve their health. I really like using a non-diet philosophy to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Can I help you improve your health?