Active 10: Forging New Habits

Our latest blog is part of the Active 10 National Campaign, we’re looking at the importance of Behavioural Change to achieve 10 minutes of healthier habits.

What do we need to realistically change our behaviour?

Conscious effort.

Has someone ever mentioned to you before about starting something new or maybe stopping a habit that makes them unhappy? If so, that could well have been smoking and often the suggestion comes from a family member. Perhaps they have expressed it on a few occasions and after a while we just stop listening. This is what they want for you, but you need to want it too. Being aware of something we should change and having the desire to change are two very different things.

Habits are what we love, they shape our day, our lifestyle, our belief system and make us feel comfortable. It takes a lot of effort to change that. Changing our behaviour is a very difficult thing to achieve when our heart isn’t in it – but with the right support and guidance it is very achievable.

If stopping smoking is our example, what sorts of things could motivate people to feel like they want to stop? Wanting to feel healthier? Feeling out of breath more often? Noticing how much money is spent on cigarettes? Their GP has mentioned the benefits of stopping? Wanting to be around for kids/ grandchildren? Sometimes it can feel as if everyone around you has quit and that you should too but that isn’t enough.
Have you ever considered stopping? What would be your motivation? Knowing why ‘you’ want to make a change is a huge step when it comes to behaviour change.

For change to be successful, we must make a conscious effort to think about what the benefits would be for us individually. When someone wants to stop smoking, we always explain the health benefits but that alone doesn’t inspire a quit attempt. Each person’s reason to stop is unique to them. People believe they need a cigarette – nicotine is addictive and has fooled the smoker’s brain into thinking that they are dependent. With proper thought we begin to understand our cues and behaviour around cigarettes.

The Com-b model of change is one tool we can use to understand behaviour change. We need each state of readiness to fall into place to sustainably make long term change.

Are you interested in learning more about the Com-B Model of Change? We provide FREE Making Every Contact Count Training where we explain this model and Behavioural Change in more detail. For more information please contact dan.ford@oneyoueastsussex.org.uk

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