The first step to success is saying yes
Change is very difficult for anyone. There will be challenges, whether you are changing your diet, starting a new activity, or trying to quit smoking. It is natural to feel frustrated, anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, or unsure.
The first step to success with any behaviour change is to be ready and willing to try it. Small steps add up to real changes over time. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your little successes along the way.
We all have the ability to learn throughout our life. Age is not a barrier. Scientists tell us that our brains continue to develop as we get older. But if we want to keep those new neurons working for us, we must challenge and exercise our brain each day. It’s just like building our muscles.
The stages of change
Making a change in your lifestyle is a series of stages you go through:
Thinking about it
Preparing to make a change
Actually making a change
Sticking with it
Even when we have good intentions, sometimes it’s hard to stick with it, and that’s OK. But do try to take action. Why? Because action followed by a relapse is far better than taking no action at all.
- Try a new activity or a new food. If you don’t like it, try something else.
- Lots of people relapse after they start to make a behavior change. If you do, just start again and keep on going.
- Try new things that make you think. Remember: what is good for your body is good for your brain.
This information is taken from Active Aging Canada’s resource, Your Personal Passport to Healthy Living, published in 2017. You can download the full document from our website.
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