The intention to change to healthier behaviour may be good, but to accomplish it is a challenge, especially if you don’t have the knowledge about how to achieve this change. Change usually does not happen all at once, it is a gradual process that involves several stages. Psychologist James Prochaska, John Norcoss, and Carlo DiClemente developed the Transtheoretical Model of stages of change to aid with the process of self-change. This model identifies six stages in the process that describes underlying processes that people go through to change most problem behaviours and adopt healthy behaviours. Most frequently, the model is used to change health-related behaviours such as physical inactivity, smoking, poor nutrition, weight problems, stress, and alcohol abuse. Understanding each stage of the model will help individuals to determine where they are in relation to their personal healthy lifestyle behaviours. It will also help to identify processes to make successful change. The stages are as follows: CONTEMPLATION People in this stage acknowledge that they have a problem and begin to seriously think about overcoming it. They are not quite ready for change, however, they are weighing the pros and cons of changing. People may remain in this stage for years although in their minds they are planning to take some action within the next six months. Education and peer support is valuable during this stage. PRECONTEMPLATION People in this stage are not considering change or do not want to change a given behaviour. They typically deny having a problem even though other people around them, including health-care practitioners, identify the problem clearly. They have no intention of changing in the immediate future and may even avoid information and materials that address the issue. These people frequently have an active resistance to change and seem resigned to accept the unhealthy behaviour as their ‘fate’. At this stage, educating them about the problem is critical to helping them start contemplating the change, by helping them to realise that they are ultimately responsible for the consequences of their behaviour. PREPARATION In this stage, people are seriously considering change and planning to change a behaviour within the next month. They take initial steps for change, like even trying the new behaviour for a short while such as quitting smoking for a day or exercising a few times during the month. During this stage, people define a general goal for change and write specific objectives to accomplish these goals. Continued peer and environmental support are helpful during this stage. ACTION People at this stage are actively doing things to change or modify the problem behaviour or to adopt a healthy behaviour. This stage requires the greatest commitment of time and energy on the part of the individual. The person is required to follow specific guidelines set forth for that behaviour. Relapse is common during this stage, and the individual may regress to previous stages. Once the individual is able to maintain the action stage for six consecutive months, they move to the maintenance stage. MAINTENANCE During this stage, the person continues the behaviour for up to five years. This phase requires continued adherence to the specific guidelines that govern the behaviour, example, exercising aerobically three times per week. The person works to maintain the gains made through the various stages of change and strive to prevent lapses and relapses. TERMINATION/ADOPTION Once a behaviour has been maintained for over five years, a person is said to be in the termination or adoption phase and exits from the cycle of change without fear of relapse. In the case of negative behaviours that are terminated, the stage of change is referred to as termination. If a positive behaviour has been successfully adopted over the period, this stage is designated the adoption stage or the ‘transformed stage of change’. This phase is the ultimate goal for all people seeking a healthier lifestyle and the quest for wellness. However, the likelihood for relapse is always high and can happen at any stage. Relapse, however, does not mean failure. Failure comes only to those who give up and don’t use prior experiences as building blocks for future success. The chances of moving back up to a higher stage of the model are far better for someone who has previously made it into one of those stages.
To demonstrate its commitment of recognising academic achievements of its members’ children, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Friday hosted its annual bursary awards ceremony, which saw some 156 students who sat the 2019 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) and obtained excellent grades receiving monetary awards.Chief Education Officer(CEO) Marcel Hutson during his presentationThe 156 students received over $5 million. Statistics of this year’s performance revealed that of the total recipients, the highest recipient gained 519 compared to last year’s 515. This year, the figures have shown an increase in overall performance of the awardees, and was deemed most outstanding from previous years.Recognising this success, Police Commissioner Leslie James in his brief remarks directed words of encouragement to parents and guardians, in which he urged them to show continuous support towards their children’s educational journey as they are Guyana’s future.Top award recipient, Dellon Graham, receiving his award from Commissioner Leslie James“I would equally urge the parents and guardians who have brought you thus far, to continue to support you towards that achievement towards that goal. It’s not difficult as you would realise today, because whatever you would’ve put in that is what you achieve…it is required of us to mould you as being the potential person for the next generation,” the Commissioner noted.Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson, in his feature address, conveyed a similar message to the attendees, as he stressed on the significance of education in today’s society.“I believe it is opportune, it is right, it is timely to celebrate this fundamental resource, because if as a nation we are going to expand, we are going to grow, we are going to develop, education is pivotal…no nation can really advance purposefully without education,” he underscored.On this note, the CEO reiterated how important it is for a child’s family, especially their parents, to be involved in his/her upbringing, particularly in the area of education.“Change does not happen, it has to be caused and what better place for change to take place than at the level of the family which is considered the basic unit of society. So parents have a fundamental role to play in equipping children and allowing them to enjoy some degree of education,” Hutson affirmed.The student receiving the Force’s top prize of $200,000 was Dellon Graham— grandson of Assistant Police Commissioner Maxine Graham— who secured 519 marks at the NGSA.The awards were handed out at the officers’ Mess Office in Eve Leary, Georgetown, and each of the 156 students received financial grants of $25,000 each, along with a $2000 voucher. Some of the organisations which would’ve contributed financially to offer these awards include: the Ex-Police Association of Canada, Guyana Mutual Insurance Company, and the Zara Group.Most students who received bursaries on Friday have obtained 400 marks and above at the NGSA examination. On April 17 and 18, some 14,715 pupils wrote the examinations to complete their primary education and gain entrance into the secondary education system.