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Which health change should you make first? Part 5 of 6

Getting ready

You’re just about to begin your first big change. You’ve chosen your “One Big Thing”, decided on the first step and checked you’re safe to commence. You’ve visualised how you’ll look once you’ve succeeded, asked around for help and explained to the people around you what they can expect to see.

By being open and honest about what you want to change you may feel you are setting yourself up for potential embarrassment if you don’t succeed. Have a read through the fear of failure blog again and consider the worst case scenario if that were to happen. Will you survive it? What will you learn from it? Is partial failure still an improvement on your current situation? Music coach, Eloise Ristad, sums it up in this quote, “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

Hopefully by now you’ll be mentally ready for your change. Next you must ensure you have all the physical tools required. Just as a chef would never commence cooking without the “mise en place”, the things in place, so must we inventory any needs we have in advance.

If you plan to take up jogging do you have a pair of running shoes?

If you need to weigh out food for a diet, are your scales accurate?

If your concern is body fat, will you buy a set of callipers to measure yourself?

Picture yourself taking your first step and note down anything you need. If you plan to go to a gym then find one close to work or home that feels welcoming. Think through the entire process step by step, making sure you can access easily any new items, advice and support.

Avoid putting this stage off no matter how eager you are to begin as it will quickly become the reason why the attempt failed. Also, avoid temporary, inappropriate or inconvenient solutions even if you promise yourself you’ll make that extra effort. If your gym is 2 bus rides away it’s unlikely you’ll commit long term.

By keeping the focus on simplicity there is a greater probability of success. Our goal is to become comfortable with constant change as our health and wellbeing requires. Complications and hazards are barriers we put in our own way. If you have truly owned your barriers to success you will anticipate potential dilemmas and prepare accordingly.

Next week, in the very last in this series of articles about choosing your first change we'll give you a gameplan for success, a simple check sheet to make sure you're good to go.

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