new year new you heres how you make changes 62bc4923bcc35

New Year New you, Here’s how You make changes


Hi, it’s Dr. Jeffrey mark. Today I’d like to talk to you about New Year’s resolutions and the stages of behavioral change. With the start of the new year, many of you have decided to make New Year’s resolutions. As you know, change can be difficult and there’s a number of stages that one goes through for behavioral change. New Year’s resolutions and changes require quite a bit of commitment to time, effort and emotion to achieve the change. So why do people want to change because they’re ready for the change? So they recognize that there’s a need for change to occur. Then there’s also a need to look at the barriers in terms of what can be challenged in achieving the new change. There needs to be an assessment. Smoking or trying to accomplish some other goal. There are three very important elements of change to consider. The first is that you’re ready for the change as you’ve thought things out that you have, as you’ve gathered the resources and you have the knowledge of how to make the change. Then you have to look at the barriers of change in terms of what could be challenges to prevent you from getting the goal that you’re wanting to achieve. And then there’s the likelihood of dealing with these failures or relapses, which can occur and trying to figure out some alternative ways of dealing with old habits that might trip up for certain triggers that might trip you up as well. So there was a stage of change model called the transtheoretical model that was developed in the 1970s by researchers James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente. So these stages were developed in their research on people stopping smoking, although the model was not perfect, many people go through these various stages. The first stage is pre contemplation, which is the stage where people are not considering a change at all. They are often in denial that they have a problem or they need to change, that their behavior is fine, and that they don’t recognize it. Some of their behaviors may be self destructive or damaging to others. So basically, there is an unawareness that there is a problem. So at this stage one needs to rethink your behavior. And analyze what your actions are to yourself and to others and to assess the risks of the current behavior. People that have decided to make New Year’s resolutions have gone past this stage of course. Next stage is contemplation where you can have a slight ambivalence of actually making the change but you’re aware that you need to make a change because of either problems that you’ve noticed in your health or behaviors that you’ve had towards others. Or that there’s something desirable that you want to develop for yourself, getting more muscle or getting more fit. So many of these questions that you ask are, why do you want to do the change? Is there something that’s preventing you from changing and what are some of the things that can make the change happen and what are the benefits of the change? So you want to again, weigh the pros and cons of the behavioral change at this stage. You want to confirm that you’re ready to make the change, and then you’re going to identify barriers that may prevent you from making the change. So once you have completed this stage of concentration, that’s where you’re ready to initiate your New Year’s resolution. Stage three is the preparation, which is basically saying if your goal is to lose weight, for example, you’re going to make small steps such as switching to lower fat foods. If you pose to quit smoking, you’re going to switch brands of cigarettes or smokeless each day, few cigarettes less stay here and there. And then you’re going to make other small changes like going to, you’re going to a personal trainer. Or sign up for health club reads, read self help books or go on the internet to find other resources. So in this stage, you’re actually experimenting with small changes and you’re collecting information to allow you to make the change so good strategies in this stage are to write down your goals, which is part of the New Year’s resolutions, prepare a plan of action and to make a list of motivating statements so that you can tell yourself, the positive benefits of the change that you’re thinking of making the next stage is action. So this is where you’re actually decided to make the commitment that you’re going to direct your action, your time, your resources towards making this change, behavior happen. So you want to make sure that you reward yourself when you achieve weight loss or quit smoking or achieve your goal. And you want to make sure that you tell others that you’re going to make these changes and have a little bit of some social accountability from your peers or other friends or family for example, many people will make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and then nearly start a new exercise regimen, including healthier diets and cutting back on snacks. And these steps are of course vital to achieve their goal. But they’re often abandoned after a few weeks, because certain steps have been overlooked. So you want to make sure that you look towards the goal. Give yourself small rewards as you go through each of the steps and make as you go through each of the steps as you get successful with some of these small steps. And to make sure that you reinforce yourself by telling others that hey, I’m doing this this is going through this is working out so the fifth stage of behavioral change is maintenance. Here, you’ve started these new behaviors, new habits, and you’ve been successful in avoiding some of the previous behaviors that have held you back. You’re trying a new behavior, you’re avoiding temptation from going back to where you were before and replacing the old habits with these new habits and you’re rewarding yourself successfully and avoiding relapse. So if you don’t falter at this step, you can keep going and keep rewarding yourself and keep making bigger steps and having positive reinforcement, both from yourself, your rewards and from the social support around you. His friends and family are happy to see this change and reinforce you as well with positive social feedback. And in this process, it’s able to make these lifelong changes. The next step is either termination where you successfully achieved what you need of this new goal and that you just need continued maintenance or you can go into a phase of relapse, which often occurs inevitably because of the fact that these you still have some triggers available that are constantly that may be constantly around you and that you need to continue to adapt to avoid temptation and to fall into the old pattern of things. In this stage of relapse, people experience disappointment, they get frustrated and there may be feelings of failure. So the strategies to help overcome this stage is to identify triggers that can lead to the relapse, and then to recognize the barriers that are preventing you from succeeding. Then you want to reaffirm your goals and commitment to change. So oftentimes, it’s the stages that have been shown as a circular pattern. Where one goes through and then after the relapse is new again, kind of regroup and you’re back into the contemplative and action phase and maintenance phase. So the model was developed in the 1970s, but it didn’t have some of the social context factors that are now in modern day society, and also income and other resources that you may or may not have to institute these changes. Also, there’s not really a logical flow in the sense that this circular pattern may not be one step together and there’s a lot of back and forth and which this model may not totally account for. Also this model there’s not really a not been for how much time is spent in each phase. Traditionally, the pre contemplative phase means that you have decided not to make any changes at least for the next six months, and the contemplative phase means that you are actually going to make a change within the next six, one to six months. So we’ve been using other techniques at all functional health, including motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral therapy change. These are other things that we’ve helped people with, for example, in the area of weight loss. Of course, we also have regenerative medicine programs and cognitive health programs as well. So I hope this overview of stages of behavioral change are helpful as an introduction. We’ll have subsequent videos looking at each of these stages and other types of things that may be more helpful, such as what motivational interviewing is and cognitive behavioral therapy. So for more information on functional health AFH weight loss programs, regenerative medicine programs, cognitive improvement programs, contact us at, find us on the web or call area code 925-736-9828. So we’ve helped 1000s of people on their journey of health and we look forward to helping you as well. So make your New Year’s resolutions and health goals for this new year, stay healthy and take care.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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