If you are able to take an active role in your own pain management, you most likely will have more success in reaching your goals. If you have reviewed the choices available to you in prior pages of this website, you will have an idea of alternative treatments for your chronic pain. Now it is time to make choices and develop an action plan. It takes effort and commitment and may not be quick or easy. Successful change takes time and practice. Sometimes you may get stuck in a stage of your plan. You may need to ask for help in figuring out how to move forward. Sometimes you may move backwards to an earlier stage. This is normal. Many successful self-changers go back and forth through the stages of their plan several times before finally settling in their new behavior.
Some basic tips for making an action plan:
Identify your specific goal and make it something you really want to do. Losing weight is not a behavior to change; not eating after dinner is a changeable behavior
- Your goal should be achievable, concrete, feasible, and measurable
- Allow yourself time and develop a realistic timeframe for achieving goals
- Appreciate yourself for making the effort
- Picture yourself having successfully completed the change and continue to work toward that goal. Have confidence in your goal and know that you may need to revise it.
- Identify barriers to achieving your goals
- Develop strategies for overcoming barriers and figure out ways to overcome any problems you encountered
Note: Members of our staff have been fortunate to be trained in the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self Management Program. That class provided invaluable suggestions for developing techniques to empower you to manage your own disease. Some of the suggestions in this chapter are similar to techniques introduced in that class.
CJE SeniorLife is a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.