“The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.”
-John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation
Of course, this quote could read: The next major advance in the health of all people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself or herself. Are you willing to be willing? One of the remarkable women I was with on Sunday walked on stage and asked us this question. Were we willing to be willing [to take on the challenge of changing the habits that weren’t serving us]?
It’s a loaded question. Powerful. Think about where you are right now – the status of your health, your career/business, your relationships with partner, family, friends, and colleagues. Do you feel well? Are you putting yourself at risk for disease with poor eating and lifestyle choices? Are you happy? Are you achieving your goals? Have you considered that if you are not living your best life you need to make changes? That’s not a bad thing, but it is a reality.
Change is defined as: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; a transformation. Taking this one step further, in order to affect change, one must make choices. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” If we want to change the result, we need to make other choices that will lead us down a new path. We might even have to step out of our comfort zone.
Think about the choices you make regarding your health and well-being. Do you get enough sleep? Do you eat appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables every day? Do you get enough exercise? Do you honor your body/mind/spirit to be the best you can be? If you answered no to any of these questions, what are you willing to do to make changes to your routine? With regard to John Knowles’s quote above, what are you willing to do for yourself to attain or maintain a healthy body and vibrant mind?
Remember that change is not easy and doesn’t occur overnight. The Stages of Change Model (SCM) outlines six steps relating to the mind/body stages we go through as we implement change. SCM was originally developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island when they were studying how smokers were able to let go of their addiction to cigarettes.
The stages of change are:
- Precontemplation (Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem behavior that needs to be changed)
- Contemplation (Acknowledging that there is a problem but not yet ready or sure of wanting to make a change)
- Preparation/Determination (Getting ready to change)
- Action/Willpower (Changing behavior)
- Maintenance (Maintaining the behavior change) and
- Relapse (Returning to older behaviors and abandoning the new changes)
Individuals progress through the stages at their own rate. During each stage, a person deals with a different set of tasks and concerns related to the changing behavior. Through each stage one must ask, “what am I willing to do?”
- Think about changes you’d like to make: eat healthy foods, lose weight, exercise more, get more sleep…what can you do differently to be your best every day?
- Review the Stages of Change model
- Set realistic goals
- Seek support (family, friends)
These steps will help you understand what works for you and what changes you can make to improve your health and well-being. If you are concerned about your nutrition and lifestyle routines and know you want to do things differently so you can best your best every day, contact me at or call413-282-7286. At Bravo! Wellness, I work with my clients to create manageable lifestyle changes so they are able to achieve their greatest potential in life, health and business.