How To Keep Going Until You Reach Your Goals
You likely already know a whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest and most compassionate way to eat, but perhaps you haven't managed to make the transition despite good intentions. How can you commit to a diet built on vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, with only a drop of processed foods - and make it work for you? A transformation in eating may appear daunting, but when you break it down to a little bit at a time, you can accomplish this.
Understanding and working with predictable stages of change paves the way for lifestyle transitions that matter. The theory of "Stages of Change" explains why you don't immediately ditch unhealthy choices that are a mismatch for your own goals and values.
The process of change, for most people, is not like whizzing up multiple floors on an elevator. It's more like taking the stairs. The important things are to know where you are climbing to and to keep going. Don't mistake a landing on the stairway for arriving at the top. You may spend long stretches stuck on a landing, but you can be gathering information and strength for the next movement upward.
It takes energy to keep climbing those stairs. The energy comes from your wish to be healthy, help others, care for animals, and other life-affirming goals.
Occasionally you might fall down a few stairs. Not to worry, this happens to everyone. Pick yourself up and keep going.
The Five Stages of Change
Researchers have identified these stages of change on the path to healthier choices.
Precontemplation. At this stage, you are not even aware you have a problem or simply don't care. The fact you are reading this post shows you have likely gotten past this state of denial.
Contemplation. You now acknowledge and care about your choices, and want to improve, but you are not sure the pain of breaking old habits is worth the gains. If you are in this difficult stage of internal conflict, you can still resolve to move forward.
You can break free of contemplation through a number of actions.