Preparation

Preparation – remove temptations, plan how action will be taken, arrange support and understanding from family, friends, perhaps a support group. Arrange substitutes for the missed habit or activity or substance. Beware of substituting a new problem (over-eating, over-spending) for the old. “Testing the Waters”


“This is a concern for me; I’m clear that the benefits of changing outweigh the drawbacks, and I’m planning to start within the next month.”

Actions

1. Praise the decision to change behavior
2. Prioritize behavior change opportunities
3. Identify and assist in problem solving regarding potential obstacles
4. Encourage small initial steps
5. Encourage identification of social supports

1. Praise the decision to change behavior

“It’s great that you feel good about your decision to change; you are doing something important to decrease your risk for disease (or….).”

2. Prioritize behavior change opportunities:

“Looking at your behavior, I think the biggest benefits would come from…. What do you think?”

3. Identify and assist in problem solving regarding potential obstacles:

“Have you ever attempted this before? What was helpful? What kinds of problems would you expect in making those changes now? How do you think you could deal with them?”

4. Encourage small, initial steps:

“So, the initial goal is to try …..”

5. Assist patient in identifying social support:

“Which family members or friends could support you as you make this change? How could they support you? Is there anything else I can do to help?”