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Now that the new year is here, it is time to think about introducing some healthy habits into your routine. The best way to do that is to look at your current behaviors and figure out what needs to be adjusted since changing your habits is all about changing your behaviors.
Behavior Change is a Process
The first thing you need to know about behavior change is that it is a process, and one that times time.
It requires practice, persistence, and an understanding that it isn’t going to change overnight. The reason people struggle with changing their habits is because they don’t bother looking at their behaviors. The cues and triggers that cause them to make certain choices.
By first developing the mindset that it is a longer process and about changing your behaviors into healthier ones, you will be able to change your habits much more effectively.
The Stages of Change
There are 5 main stages of change when it comes to your behavior. These include the precontemplation stage, contemplation stage, determination, action, and maintenance.
Precontemplation: You are just starting to think about what you want to change. You might feel like you need to eat healthier to lose a little weight, but haven’t really thought it through yet.
Contemplation: You think about it more, and actually decide on the behaviors or habits that will help you make the change.
Determination: You get excited about what this behavior change will mean.
Action: You start putting the plan into action.
Maintenance: Many people forget this one. It is often the most difficult when it comes to changing behavior and where people might slip up.
How This Helps to Change Your Habits
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Why does behavior change help when it comes to changing your habits?
Because habits are behaviors, whether subconscious or not. They are something you learned in your life, that you kept doing for whatever reason. Some of them are good, like brushing your teeth every morning when you get up. You probably barely have to think about it, because you have been doing it for so long. But others are bad habits or behaviors, like feeling that you need dessert after dinner. This is probably more of a behavior habit than anything else.
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