So, you may now be venturing out more and starting the process of returning to what we will consider to be the “new normal”.
This doesn’t mean you have to change your life dramatically, but as everyone is having to make considerations for behaviour in public places, this could be a great opportunity to make subtle changes to your every day life your improved wellbeing specifically for you.
Starting something new can always seem daunting, but it is all about building foundations in which to build smaller steps to lead you to ultimate goals.
So, what can you do to make this process successful?
Understanding where you are currently, and where you are wanting to go is vital for moving forward with anything in life, especially your wellbeing.
A great system for this is the Stages of Change Model (DiClemente & Prochaska).
This is a model created to look at the process of starting and sustaining changes and identifying what you can do at each point to move forward.
This stage is the point at which you may not realise you need or want to make a change.
Instead you may need a stimulus to create the thought of making change.
Have you ever looked back at something you have started and thought, how did I manage before this?
Contemplation - “Should I?”
Now at this point you are weighing up the pros and cons of making a change based on the new information you have.
This is when you will need barriers breaking down and motivational positives feeling achievable in order to take the next step into actually doing something.
What have you been wanting to do, how could you make that seem more realistic?
Preparation - “How do I make that leap?”
Great, so now that we have got the positives and the motivation to do/change something you can focus on how you will make this work.
This is a great opportunity to set goals that you want to achieve using SMART principle.
We all would love to be right in the middle of fantastic life changing habits, but we all have to start somewhere.
Action - You’re doing it!
At this point you have put everything in place and you are actively doing the new behaviour or working towards a new goal.
It is important that you have the support system in place to keep you moving forward and keep you motivated.
You also need to be able to say “Yes, this is working!” which you can only do from monitoring your progress.
If your goal is to improve your mental wellbeing, then how do you know if this is improving if you have nothing to go off?
Maintenance - “It’s working!”
At this stage you have now been actioning the new behaviour or goal for that long (3-6 month +) that it feels part of your everyday life and has become routine.
This is the vital stage for ensuring this becomes something that stays long term.
It is important to still provide yourself with challenges and motivation to ensure you keep moving forward.
Picture yourself in a year’s time, what habit would you like to have achieved and still be doing?
Realistically, at any point of this process you may face bumps in the road or relapses.
Therefore it is important to plan for these and be kind to yourself.
Nothing challenging is ever easy, but the outcomes will be worth it.
You can enter and exit this system at any time.
The importance is continuing to work through it, gaining positive experiences from every step.
So, what stage are you currently in for the habits you want to introduce into your “new normal”.
What steps can you put in to get to Maintenance?
Remember you need to take a step forwards to move forwards.
The size of that step is determined by you, but the distance you travel will always be greater than standing still.
This blog originally appeared on EnterprisingYou's website here.