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Keeping Change Going—Your New Normal

Topic Overview

Thinking about change, planning for change, and making your change happen all take work. Keeping a change going can be just as hard. It takes time to make it your new "normal." And you can expect to have a few tough times.

Stay alert

To make this change part of your new lifestyle, keep your change skills ready at all times. It's good to keep asking yourself:

  • What were my personal reasons for making this change? Why were these important to me?
  • What values led me to make this change?
  • What kind of person do I want to be?
  • What temptations do I need to watch for? What are the best ways I've handled triggers and cravings so far? What other ways can I try?

Stay calm, learn, and move on

If you do slip or relapse, don't get down on yourself. You can bounce back. Nearly everyone who succeeds with change has some slips along the way. It's normal.

  • Turn your mistake into a lesson, and learn from it. Ask yourself, "What will I do differently next time?"
  • Every time you experience a craving or trigger, record it in a journal. This makes it easier to stay in control and plan ways to cope next time.
  • Think again about the things you're trying, and see if you need to change any of them. For example, you may notice that you often slip up when you're in a certain mood. If you can't keep that trigger out of your life, find new ways to cope with it next time.
  • Stay connected with people who understand how important this change is to you.
  • Spend time with people who lead the kind of healthy lifestyle you've chosen for yourself.

Remember, things won't always be perfect. But there's a big difference between slipping up and giving up.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Timothy R. Stockwell, PhD
Last Revised November 7, 2013

Last Revised: November 7, 2013

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