5 stages of change


The 5 Stages of Change Model is a very useful framework that describes the series of stages we go through to change our lifestyle habits. The critical assumption that underpins this model is that behavioral changes do not happen in one step, but through a series of distinct, predicable stages. Just realizing the stage of change you’re in may be helpful for you to succeed.

While this model was originally developed in the 1970’s to better understand how smokers are able to give up their addiction to cigarettes, it has since been used to understand changing just about any type of behavior. For the purposes of this article, eating unhealthy foods, or not exercising are the habits we are trying to change.

1) Precontemplation

People in this stage haven’t even thought about making any change to their habits and don’t recognize that they have a problem. They may be pessimistic about their ability to make change, or even deny the negative effects of their existing lifestyle habits. They pick and choose information that helps confirm their decision not to exercise, or eat better.

It’s difficult to reach, or help people in the precontemplation stage, because as they see it, there is no problem. It may take an emotional trigger, or event of some kind that can snap people out of their denial. It’s highly likely if you are taking the time to read this article, you are not in this stage.

2) Contemplation

During this stage, you are weighing the pros and cons, effort, time, finances etc. and benefits of lifestyle modification. You are contemplating whether it’s something that will be worth it. People can remain in this stage for years without preparing to take the next step forward.

I think setting very powerful, motivating goals and visualising your results can be very helpful for someone in the contemplative stage. If you can identify new ways that making a change will benefit you, the benefits will begin to outweigh the costs. We tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain, so the more pleasure you can envision the more likely you will move on.

3) Preparation

People in the preparation stage have decided to change their negative habits. Congratulations if you’re in this category! You may have just set up an appointment with a personal trainer, nutritionist, or other fitness professional, purchased a fitness program, or started a gym membership.

4) Action

The action stage is the process of changing your lifestyle, whether you are exercising more consistently, or eating healthier. Individuals in this stage are at the greatest risk of relapse, so it’s key to leverage any techniques you can to stay motivated.

5) Maintenance

This is the stage of successful, sustained lifestyle modification. If you have been exercising for years consistently and have developed positive habits into your lifestyle, then you are in the maintenance stage.

A lot of people tend to bounce between the contemplation, preparation and action stages, most people are “yoyo” dieters and exercisers. I think one way to prevent this yoyo effect from happening is to make small changes in your habits that over time create something meaningful.

In addition, yoyo dieters and exercisers should understand that maintaining physical fitness and changing fitness are two totally different paths that require different approaches. It’s not that difficult to maintain a given level of physical fitness just by remaining consistent (unless you are at a very high level). It’s very difficult, however, to prepare and take action to change your body. Our bodies are resistant to change, so trying to change them takes a MASSIVE effort that requires a substantial commitment, both mental and physical. Once you’ve changed your body, you can coast without losing that fitness level. It’s a lot better to cut back on exercise and maintain what you’ve gained then to stop completely. Quitters never win.

I hope these 5 stages of change are a helpful framework for you to reference when you are looking to make some type of change in your life.

Also remember that if you ‘fall off the wagon’ you don’t have to go back to the very beginning. For example if you stall at the action stage go back to the preparation, not as far back as contemplation. There will always be stumbling blocks, mental, physical, environmental etc.. the thing to remember is they stumbling blocks not a stop sign.

So, that concludes my article, but if you have any questions please put them in the comments box and together we can all be the best version of ourselves.

Stay hungry.


Weekend thought 

Instead of walking with your head down lift it up, blessings comes from above not below.

-Make your mark on life 

Thursday motivation

“Someone once asked a poet, “If your house was burning and you could save only one thing, what would you save?” The poet answered, “I would save the fire, for without the fire we are nothing.”

This is one of my favourite quotes. When I am tired, overwhelmed and overworked, I think of this because it reminds me that even at the worst of times, there is a reason for everything if you look at it with a new perspective. Without fire there is no passion, no drive to succeed. The fire fuels me in everything I do in life. Save the fire.

So many people in life want to put that fire out – don’t ever let them.

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

Thought for the week ahead

So many people will tell you ”no”, and you need to find something you believe in so hard that you just smile and tell them ”watch me”. Learn to take rejection as motivation to prove people wrong. Be unstoppable. Refuse to give up, no matter what. It’s the best skill you can ever learn.

-Charlotte Eriksson

Time changes everything??

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself”

-Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was right when he said this. Action does speak volumes.

Think of a time when you said to yourself “I have to do this or that” or “I wish I could” now ask yourself “what stopped you?” Was it because the cosmos consorted against you to seal your fate or was it a case of you got distracted and these plans like so many others ended up on the back burner.

Somebody said one time that “the cemetery is the riches place on earth” so many ideas, inventions etc that never saw the light of day. Maybe if some had just pushed that little bit more…..?

Well my friends today if you are reading this you are the right side of the turf and in a position to be the change you want to see in your world.

New week, New possibilities, New opportunities to be explored. So get your focus, your plans, your game faces on and go make your Mark!!

Saturday motivational “bold goals”

I think my man Greg Kolodziejzyk makes a great point in his article.

Take is away Greg

Ironman triathlon, drowning rats and BOLD goals.

I learned a valuable lesson at the Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii. That bit of wisdom is best summed up by a quote from Thomas Carlyle: “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.”

Aside from simply finishing the race, I didn’t really have a goal. My challenge for the past four years has been to make it to Kona – to finish in the top 5 in my division at any Ironman qualifying race in North America and earn a slot to complete with the very best triathletes in the world. After seven Ironman races in four years, I had finally achieved that goal, and finished fourth at Ironman Arizona in April of 2006 with a time of 10 hours, 15 minutes. I was ecstatic – I had finally done it. I figured it out. I had qualified to compete head to head with the best athletes in the world at the Infamous Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii. Participating in the historic, exalted event in Hawaii was to be my reward.

But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” My reward was received way back in April when I succeeded in accomplishing my goal – the race in Hawaii itself was no reward. It was just a really long, brutally hot and painful 12 hour slog through 140.6 miles of desolate lava fields.

Why? Because I had no goal in Hawaii aside from simply finishing. And from the moment the cannon went off to signal the swim start at 7:00 am on Saturday morning in Kailua-Kona Bay, all I could think about was the finish line. That’s no way to do an Ironman.

Dr. Richter of Johns Hopkins Medical School carried out an experiment that attempted to measure the motivational effect of having a goal. The experiments involved placing rats into cylinders of water that were thirty inches deep by eight inches wide. After a short time, half of the rats were momentarily rescued by being lifted out of the cylinder for a few seconds, then put right back into the water. The other half were not. The group that was given hope swam for more than three days. The other rats drowned almost immediately.

The rats that knew there was a chance of being rescued again had a goal – to stay alive until the next rescue. The other group had no goal, so they just gave up. I think that’s kind of what happened to me in Kona on Saturday – I didn’t really have a goal, so I sort of just checked out. That’s a very painful way to race an Ironman. It makes for one VERY long, VERY difficult day!

I learned about the necessity of a worthy goal. We are motivated by bold challenges that are only slightly out of reach. Winning Ironman Hawaii wasn’t even in the realm of possible outcomes, and placing somewhere in the middle of the pack was the best I could hope for. After all, I was racing with the best Ironman triathletes in the world. I figured that just making it to the finish line would provide me with enough incentive to enjoy the epic event, but evidently, I need more than that.

It was an important lesson learned and a day that I will never forget.