Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Mental Game: Step 1 - I won't do it

'I won't do it'

You're most likely past this stage if you're reading my blog. But someone important to you might be in this phase. The significant other perhaps? Most likely I bet. Your parents? I bet they're quite happy slathering margarine over white bread everyday. I know mine are. But I have no doubt that there is someone in your life that could do with a big shove towards the health train.

People in this stage tend to:
  • See no need to make a change
  • Feel nothing is wrong
  • Happy with current lifestyle despite obvious unhealthy consequences (weight gain, bloating, moodiness, acne, depression, anxiety, stomach pains, diabetes, high blood pressure etc)
  • Laugh off or ignore comments by others expressing concern for their welfare 
  • The idea of becoming healthier is not being considered or not taken seriously
 So what can you do? The best thing you can really do is to help the person become aware of their unhealthy behaviours. Plant the seeds of doubt in their mind by giving them the stone cold truth.
  • Highlight the risks of their current behaviours - is their behaviour going to cause long-term health problems? Short-term health problems? Is their lifestyle impacting on their mental health? Relationships?
  • Encourage the person to rethink their behaviours - get them to consider why they are eating McDonald's every other night or why they aren't exercising or why they are overweight. This will encourage them to reflect on their current behaviour, which they most likely have not done so before.
  • Be a role model or invite a role model into their lives - action speaks louder than words so use yourself or someone else who has made impressive and motivating healthy changes to introduce the person to what can be possible. For example, show them a photo or talk about someone who has inspired you. It will get them thinking, trust me.
Don't be disheartened if the person stays in this stage for a long time. Keep planting those seeds of doubt. They'll grow eventually. Just remember, you were at this stage too once so think about what helped you to take the next step.

Stay tuned for next week's Mental Game edition : 'Step 2 - I can't do it'

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