Strategies for Change in Health Behavior

. Monday, January 5, 2009
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  • Give careful thought to your motivation and reasons for wanting to make particular changes, make a conscious effort to think about them every day. Consider the long –and short-term advantages and disadvantages of changing.
  • Prepare for expected difficulties. Identify potential triggers for slips (i.e., an uncomfortable social engagement or physical illness). Avoid high-risk situations when possible.
  • Formulate a list of coping methods that can be used when the “old urge” arises (see other boxes in this chapter).
  • Don’t be overly compulsive or controlled in your new habits. Go with the 80 percent rule (if you can do so honestly). For example, 20 percent of the time, allow your self to eat taboo foods in limited quantities.
  • Develop and read a list of coping self-statement for times when you experience urges to slip, or following a slip. For instance: “Just because I don’t feel like jogging doesn’t means I shouldn’t, ” or “having that piece of cake wasn’t great, but it did taste good. I ‘m only human, so let me just go back to eating right and have no more cake today. “ practice and rehearse these types of statement, particularly while visualizing yourself in high-risk situations.
  • Practice deep breathing exercise and other relaxation skills when an acute craving episode occurs.
  • Develop a network of people who practice healthy behaviors to serve as good models and to provide support.


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