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Eight steps to successful behavior change when it comes to your health.

Door Claudia Smet 24 Oct 2022 0 comments

Praktische tips voor een succesvolle gedragsverandering

“Motivation is what you start with. Habit is what keeps you going. ”  We all have something in our lives that we would like to change. Most of us have tried, often many times, and "failed". I want to give you practical ways and tips to succeed in all steps of a behavior change.

Step 1. - Figuring out the problem and your values. What and why"?

First you have to find out and recognize the problem. For something to become a problem, it must cause some kind of discomfort in our lives.
For example, being overweight. As long as being overweight does not harm us (socially, mentally or physically), the subconscious sees no need to expend precious time or energy on solving the problem.
There must be sufficiently strong incentives linked to the problem. Usually it is the diagnosis of a new disease, the death of a parent from the same disease, decline in quality of life, social stigma or fear of the future. Everyone needs to find the main "why" - the main reason why something needs to be done.

Mentaliteit aanpassen en keuzes maken

Step 2. Change in mindset.

Support the change in your mindset by learning from those who have succeeded.
Before a big step is taken in a behavioral change, the subconscious must first believe that it is possible. Most changes get "stuck" in this step because we don't really believe we could do it. We imagine the change in our heads; of a big, scary, difficult and almost impossible challenge. To change our lives for the better, we must believe that it is possible. The best way to do this is to get to know people who have succeeded in the change - in person or by reading their stories.
“If they could do it, so can I!” is usually sufficient motivation to move on to the next step.

Step 3. Expand knowledge.

Search for more information from different sources.
Before we can successfully initiate a major lifestyle change, we need to have enough theoretical information on the subject. Without knowledge, we get stuck in the beginning, and then we lose our motivation.

Fortunately, information can be obtained in many ways, but some sources of information should be viewed with a little more skepticism. Where can you find reliable information?


For example

  • discuss with people who have succeeded,
  • join Facebook groups.

Reading always pays off, said Jörn Donner. The problem is that people get stuck in “the analysis” and are unable to take the next step.

Step 4. - replace old habits with new ones.

An excellent book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg shows the importance of finding new habits to replace old and unwanted ones.
Immediately stopping an old habit rarely gives lasting results. We must openly and reliably analyze the habits that prevent us from achieving the state we aspire to.
Replacing old habits with new ones is a step-by-step process, and setbacks are usually caused by trying too many things at once.

Preferably replace 15 minutes of TV with 15 minutes of reading or one cigarette a day with 5 minutes of walking. If you want to fast, start with a mild method such as 16:8 diet.


According to Duhigg, small changes ultimately cause big changes for other aspects of life. Small positive results motivate us to continue and develop. Patience is key.

Step 5. "Failure and Failure"

Hoe ga je om met falen en mislukken ?

Do you feel like you always fail when you try? Failure is part of the process. You have to prepare for it. If we avoid it and focus only on success, we will burn out and crash. It is especially important to accept setbacks and failures beforehand. Because every change process has setbacks and downright failures. Entrepreneurs, alcoholics and the parents of children know it. Therefore, we should not accept the word "failure", because every mistake or setback is an experience - an opportunity to analyze and learn. It's part of a change. The road to our goal is not straight. If we accept that, forgive ourselves, we will rise faster and change our lifestyle.

Step 6. - The change continues; follow the main indicators of the change, set priorities.


In the book "High-Performance Habits" Brendon Burchard says that people who follow their process regularly are 2.5 times more likely to achieve their goals. Monitoring motivates them to stick with their goals and prioritize their energy.
I check my weight and calorie intake almost every morning, because without it I would forget how important a process is to me.
The other principle in a continuous successful lifestyle change is prioritization.
It is an outright impossibility for modern man to fit "all the important things" into a 16-hour work day.
In his book "The One Thing" Gary Keller teaches that in every aspect of life one most important thing must be determined that requires all our attention and time, because otherwise we have many things that are not attainable.
I am not much in favor of "balanced living", because I know how many secondary things have to be left undone in order to achieve goals.
Life is full of cruel priorities.

Step 7. - "Wrong"; - accept it!

Fail again? No, it's not a bad joke or a mistake in the text. I want to emphasize that in all change processes, wherever something better is the goal, "failures" are inevitable. No matter how many times we fall, we must get up. A little obsession is a good thing. Most of us know the feeling of being so excited about something that we can't think about anything else. I give myself the freedom to obsess over big goals because I know it will get me through harder times. Grant Cardone says in his book "Be Obsessed or Be Average" that obsession is a necessity if you want big results and otherwise the results are mediocre or non-existent.

Step 8. permanent change; what to do - develop and improve permanent systems and routines.


In the book “The Power of Habit” Duhigg explains how habits are formed and how they work. When you learn to drive, you have to constantly pay attention to the speed, the steering wheel, the road signs, the gears and the pedals. After a month or two, these things come automatically. But how?
Our brains learn to transfer repetitive tasks to our subconscious, so that they do not require constant attention and energy from us. The same thing happens with lifestyle changes. Healthy eating, regular exercise and going to bed become automatic after a few months. There will certainly be setbacks, nothing is 100% permanent, but in this step following the habit is already considerably easier.


Success happens every day when you decide to change.

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