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What Will Help Me Make Changes?

This could be the crucial first step in making your family’s life healthier! But how ready are you for a healthy lifestyle change? Sometimes people start trying to make a change with good intentions, but this burst of energy quickly runs out and they go back to what they were doing before. For some people they know they need to make changes but never seem to get going.

If any of this sounds familiar – we can help! There has been lots of research about making and sticking with positive changes – sometimes called behaviour change. By using the hints and tips on this page to guide you, you can make lasting changes towards a healthier life.

    • Think of a simple idea that can be a change for the whole family
    • Starting small can really help. Think about breaking down your overall goal into shorter, more manageable parts
    • Remember that children and young people copy good and bad habits. By making better choices as a parent you are helping your children live a healthier life
    • If there are lots of areas where you want to make changes, choose just one to start with. If you tackle one thing at a time you are much more likely to keep going
    • Think about what will help you to keep up the change you have made and what might stop you
    • Write down the reasons you are making a change and stick it on the fridge so it reminds you to stick at it
    • Set a time to review your goal. You can set reminders on your phone to prompt you.

    • Celebrate every little goal you achieve. Watch your favourite film with the family or plan a day out
    • Look at how far you’ve come. Many people want a quick fix, but don’t worry if things take time. If you start out not doing any activity and your goal is to do 15 minutes to start with, it doesn’t sound like much. But if you did it for a week that would be 1 hour 45 minutes more then you did last week, which already sounds impressive!
    • Don't let a small setback make you feel like you need to give up. You can always get back on track. Remind yourself why you started in the first place and what difference it will make to you if you succeed
    • Be kind to yourself. Sometimes we want to make changes but it isn’t the right time. For example, if you have recently suffered a difficult event like a bereavement, it might be best to give yourself some time to feel better before you try to make a change.

  • • Be aware of ‘pester power’, where children ask for things in public places like shops. It can be difficult to manage this behaviour. If you struggle with this, then think about ways you can avoid it, for instance by staying out of certain parts of the shop, shopping online, or shopping without your children
    • Advertising, special offers, and the placement of things on shelves in shops can all pull us towards making unhealthy choices. You can avoid this by making a list in advance and sticking to it, or even just by being aware of which unhealthy foods you are drawn towards
    • If you use online ordering for takeaways, it can be very easy to over order or size up. Before you hit ‘order,’ think of your goals and see whether you can cut down.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.

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