The following quote is a long-winded way of describing the three steps Phelps has written about in her new book, Ultimate Wellness: The Three Step Plan.
“I want people to actually think about what they’re doing and think about what they can change, what’s stopping them and how they can overcome those obstacles if they really do want the outcome.”
Professor Kerryn Phelps, quoted in Peter Jean’s newspaper article “No excuse for neglecting health”.
The three steps in brief, bolded here for emphasis to attract your attention, are:
Having only just seen the promo article, I’ve not read the book yet. So, I’m incorporating my experiences under Phelps’ three headings based solely on my interpretation of the words.
In 2010, I began developing a format for new year resolutions that is working for me. Sustained change, for the better, has been established in a range of areas in my life.
In my experience, Phelps’ Audit phase is the most important. It is part of the foundation on which you build. One of my key strategies is to step back occasionally, take the long view and give the development process the right amount of pace and timing. What evolves is not the rush-out-and-join-a-gym mentality so often associated with resolutions.
It can take some time to think through all the causes, obstacles and options. The bigger the project, the bigger the audit is likely to be. It is also likely to be iterative. But don’t let the audit become an excuse for procrastination. The great benefit of iterative auditing is that you can start rebooting some areas while still thinking about others. As time rolls on, you will get an opportunity to refine those early attempts if they need it. In my 2012 Year of Efficient Eating, I was auditing throughout the year – first, when I started to research each new food group and, second, when looking for improvements to the changes already made.
Phelps’ use of the computer term, Reboot, is inspired. When our computer gets stuck or when we add new softare, we have to shut it down and start again.
Start again. For those less computer orientated, another analogy could be the need to sand or strip back the old paint before applying the new layer. Sometimes, just adding on a new habit doesn’t work because we haven’t incorporated it into the rest of our environment. As an example, in my 2013 Year of Sweat, I’m not just trying to squash exercise into a busy life or carve out 20 minutes here and there. Instead, I’m rebooting. I’m stripping back and starting again. Achieving my aim this year will involve re-engineering the way physical activity is built into my daily routines and, more broadly, my life.
I think I should pop into my local bookstore and get a copy of Ultimate Wellness. Finding out that my strategies are likely on the right track is very encouraging, but I bet there’s more in the detail that I’ll find useful.