Experts suggest that 75% of what determines how well we age depends on lifestyle influences or other factors within our locus of control (MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2020).
The question then becomes, ‘Why are some people able to make better lifestyle choices leading to better health and wellness and others are not able to?’
When good health is within our grasp, why is it that many of us struggle with making meaningful and sustainable changes to our health and wellness practices? The key to change is grounded in science.
Behaviour Change Theory
The Guide to Enhancing is not only about making recommendations for your health and wellness (although it is chock-full of good advice). But, we are all human and good advice often goes in one ear and out the next. Behaviour Change Theory is the key to successful and meaningful change.
Scientifically-validated behaviour change theory is a foundation of the Guide, and is designed to effectively help you to make positive, sustainable changes to your health habits which will improve your life today and impact your future health and wellness, setting you up to thrive as you age.
The content of the Guide to Enhancing engages several scientifically-validated behaviour change theories, including the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Social Change Theory (SCT), Transtheoretical Model (TTM), Self-determination Theory (SDT), and the Michie Behavior Change Wheel framework. This comprehensive approach identifies the capabilities, opportunities, and motivations associated with the desired health and wellness behavior and provides a rationale for recommending future steps to improve current health and wellness practices.
The Health Education Journal recently published findings from the Preparedness for the Future Questionnaire. The purpose of this paper is to describe people’s general state of preparedness for their future as older persons, identify specific attitudes towards aging and key characteristics that portend a lesser degree of preparedness, and identify the issues that need greater emphasis. The findings show that people’s attitudes towards their future self as an older person are related to their state of future preparedness and may have an impact on their future health and well-being.
The majority (82%) felt it was ‘important’ to ‘extremely important’ to think about themselves as an older person. Yet, 23% of people acknowledged that they ‘always’ or ‘often’ spent time thinking about what it will be like for them as an older person.
In particular, the majority of us have not thought ahead to prepare for possible future serious illness including medical care, funeral and legacy planning.
This Preparedness for the Future Questionnaire later became the Preparedness for the Future Report which is the first step of the Guide to Enhancing. This report helps to get people in the future-thinking frame of mind. It features 30 questions that build a picture of your current health and wellness as indicated by lifestyle behaviours, psychological attributes and practical things like planning for the future.
The findings from the survey helped to shape the educational content in the Guide to Enhancing.
Are you ready to start some positive change in your life?
Get Started on the Guide to Enhancing today