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.
Over 50 new ranks attached to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) were administered their oath and presented with Instruments of Commission in the presence of their Commander in Chief, President David Granger on Thursday.President David Granger and senior ranks of the GDF pose for a photo with new ranks from the Standard Officers Course 50The newly inducted ranks promised to uphold true faith and allegiance to the State in the presence of senior security officials.This year, 28 officers successfully completed the Standard Officers Course 50, three of which were members of the Belize Defence Force and one from the Guyana Prison Service. In addition, 27 individuals, including six females, completed the Reserve Officers Course 16.They were promoted to Second Lieutenants, while three overseas-trained personnel were also recognized as Lieutenants.A simple ceremony at the Baridi Benab, State House, Main Street, Georgetown saw the new Second Lieutenants and Lieutenants being charged by the Head of State. During his remarks, the President remembered some instances where the Force successfully defended Guyana’s territory. This he said, is due to the competence of the GDF in its entirety.“The suppression of the Rupununi Rebellion and the defence of the New River Zone fifty years ago in 1969 exemplified the Guyana Defence Force’s military proficiency. Today, we celebrate the Force’s operational capabilities, which were based on supreme courage, superior organisation and superb training,” the Head of State expressed.He added, “Guyana remains a unitary and indivisible state because of the courage, competence and commitment of the Guyana Defence Force in these operations. These operations involved intelligent planning, intense training and innovative tactics”.The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces noted that such operations were carried out by highly skilled officers and these were built through training. At that time, Granger underscored the importance of training, as it maintains a standard of discipline and behaviour.“Training is the foundation of a professional and proficient force. It is essential for ensuring the success of military missions, for enhancing operational effectiveness, and for developing physical endurance. Training is fundamental to military service and that is why your military service begins with a training course here at the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School. Should training be neglected, standards would fall, troops’ morale would decline, and deviant behaviour would corrupt the Force’s members and corrode the competence of the Force.”The Force has managed to instil values of duty, identity and loyalty among fellow cadets and officers. Training would have started some 50 years ago, after which the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School (CUPOCS) was established in 1981. Over this time, cadets were welcomed from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize and St Kitts and Nevis.“The Standard Officers’ Course (SOC) aims at inculcating the Force’s values and standards in cadets and to develop their power of command and leadership and their service to the country. The SOC has been improved continuously and now includes an enhanced academic programme and intensified jungle, paratrooper and equitation training,” Granger acknowledged.He then mentioned, “The Reserve Officers’ Course has been reintroduced after a hiatus of a decade. Members of the Guyana People’s Militia are active and receiving training in all ten administrative Regions, so that they could respond effectively to the need for assistance, including in the disaster relief.”Presently, the technical corps are being improved. It was indicated that a light reconnaissance aircraft and inshore patrol vessels have amplified the competency of the Coast Guard and Air Corps. Adding to that, the intelligence and signal corps are engaged to improve their surveillance and intelligence capabilities.“Defence cooperation is being pursued with a number of friendly countries and is unlocking training opportunities for all ranks. The rewards of these investments and partnerships are evident – the Force is improving its capacity to deter aggression, defend national sovereignty and ensure a safe, secure and strong state,” the President noted.