Maintaining the changes
Starting a new goal or making a change can be hard, keeping it going can be even harder, but fortunately there are a lot of ways you can help yourself to maintain your progress. Below are some tips to keep you on track.
Managing your pain will take time. At the start you might have the help of a team like your doctor, physiotherapist or psychologist to help you. However, in the long run you will need to keep the momentum going on your own or with the help of your family, friends or carers.
Start by using the tools and tips from the bricks on this website and then use the tips in this section to keep you on track. For all your goals and activities, start off small and grow them slowly over time. This will help your new changes to become part of your everyday life and to stop your pain from controlling what you do.
Top tips to keep you on track
Stay active in as many areas of your daily life as possible
Making a daily plan and moving in a paced way will help to keep you active. Plan your time as much as possible, and space out your tasks with rest breaks so that you have plenty of time to rest and do not feel overwhelmed.
Pace, pace, pace
Life is not a race, especially when you have chronic pain. Start small and grow your goals over time. Do not wait for motivation but build momentum. Be patient and know that if you take your time, pace yourself and build bit-by-bit, you will get there.
Try to not to…
- rest too much
- rely on only medication to manage your pain
- focus on unsustainable or passive ways to manage your pain.
Deal with setbacks or lapses
Setbacks will happen and life has many ups and downs. This will not change, but how you deal with them should. Learn from each setback and find new ways and tools you can use to manage your pain.
Schedule in time to check your goals and progress
Set time in your diary every few months to check in with how you are progressing with your goals and managing your pain. Ask yourself:
- Am I able to do more than I could before?
- Am I feeling more confident with how much I can do?
- What is working?
- What can I do to make things work better?
It might be helpful to do this with a family member, carer or healthcare worker, so that you can brainstorm any barriers or problems that are getting in the way.
Upgrade your goals and plans
If your goals are on track, try upgrading them. Use the tips in the Getting more active tool to guide you.
Celebrate your success
Only you know how difficult it is to live with your pain. By celebrating your successes, you will boost your confidence and your ability to manage your pain.
Seek help and ask others, your friends, family or carers to
- appreciate your effort and successes
- stop asking about your pain
- stop asking you or pushing you to do things
- stop being too helpful – unless you really need help, get them to support you to do as much as you can for yourself.
Work with your doctor or healthcare team
Maintain a good relationship with your doctor or healthcare team. Be realistic about how they can help your pain and be honest about what you are doing to manage your pain.
Now it's time to put a plan together to help you maintain the changes you have made. Read the Maintaining the changes guide and then use the tools and tips to put together My plan to maintain the changes. This will help you move forward and learn to Be Pain Smart.