You did it. You made the changes necessary and you’re sticking with it. It only took you 22 attempts (give or take) and months of going back and forth deciding whether changing your current health behaviour would be worth it in the long run.
Well it was.
Aren’t you happy you made it this far?
The MAINTENANCE stage.
At this point, you are working hard to consolidate the gains you have made over the last several months and preventing yourself from relapse. Stabilizing your behaviour change and avoiding relapse are the hallmarks of this stage.
I used the example of poor posture and how it can negativity affect your body resulting in headaches and lower back pain. This is because I am a physiotherapist and posture is part of my passion. Re-training posture and movement allows people to move better, feel better and ultimately be better!
If you have seen a physiotherapist, you likely received education on correcting your posture as part of your treatment, and with the right exercises and manual therapy felt much better for it. Sometimes, good postural advice is all you need!
In this series of blog posts, posture and pain are examples. But you could easily substitute other health behaviours such as regular exercise, healthy eating, quitting smoking…the list goes on.
To change any other health behaviour you will go through the same stages, from precontemplation all the way to action. The internal conversations will be very similar. There will be false starts. You will zig zag through the stages of change. Remember, you don’t move through them in a linear fashion. And once you make the desired changes to your target behaviour, don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work.
Keep going! Your body and your mind will thank you for it.