5 stages of change


                                        stagesofchangegraphic

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.

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Quote of the day


Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless

Jamie Paolinetti

10 Tools That Will Unlock Your Potential


I found this article and thought i’d share

 

10 Tools That Will Unlock Your Potential

      Be serious about making improvements in your life.
Published on February 24, 2012 by Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. in Emotional Fitness

The world is full of opportunity, but sometimes too much thinking can get in the way. Here are a few tips to help you change your life for the better.

1.     Remember the gifts you were born with. When you stop to remember what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have or may not be getting, it changes your perspective for the better.

2.     Start your day the night before. The most successful people I know end their workday by making a list of what they have to do the following day or two ahead. This allows the subconscious to work on things while you sleep.

3.     Be ready to grow up. Adults have the ability to learn to delay gratification, but we also have a choice as to how to behave when things don’t go our way. If you remember to take the high road, you’ll end up where you want to be

4.     Drop the attitude. If you think the world owes you a living, you might want to reevaluate your position. It is quite possible that, by feeling entitled, you are pushing away things and people you might like.

5.     Don’t ignore your emotions, but remember that feelings aren’t facts. Emotions need to be honored—they don’t have to be justified—but just because you have a feeling doesn’t mean that you’re right.

6.     Watch out for negative thinking. Sometimes we get into negative feedback loops and don’t even know it. If thoughts of being helpless and hopeless continue to enter your mind, you might just need to take a nap or perhaps talk with someone who can help.

7.     Set up and stick to a routine. We are creatures of habit, and good habits, such as getting regular exercise, make us feel better. Maintaining good habits also helps us feel that we have some control over our lives. Just do it.

8.     Drop your resentments. We all have them. Whether they are toward our parents, partners, or peers, resentments take up too much psychic space to allow us to function properly. By choosing to drop them, you will make your life much lighter. The hardest part is making the decision to let your resentments go.

9.     Know who you really are, and learn to honor yourself. We all fake it from time to time and, once in a while, this can be a good thing, but never compromise your personal values and always strive to be your best self.

10.  Enjoy a part of every day. You can’t always be in bliss-city, so look for those little bright moments that happen all the time but that we often fail to recognize. Make a point of seeing some good in every day, and you will change your life.

Changing your life for the better is about picking a destination and taking one step at a time to get there. If you try to take shortcuts, you may end up making your journey long and arduous. Being serious about making improvements is a great start. Now put it into action.