Quote of the day


A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.

– Lewis Mumford

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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.

Quote of the day

Quote


Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

-Bradley Whitford

Mindfulness,  what is it?


I started looking into mindfulness and what its all about,  i’m going to put a few articles on here and give an interpretation of what I find.  Any comments as you know are welcome. 

At its essence, mindfulness is being in the moment. It’s really about being engaged with what we’re doing in each moment, rather than being in that distracted mode where we’re daydreaming about the past or the future, or caught up in reactivity. And if you think about it, there are probably moments throughout the day, actually, that you’re already mindful and present. If you think about your hobbies, things that you enjoy doing, there’s a pretty good chance that when you’re doing them, you’re engaged in the senses, fully immersed in that activity.


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And when you’re doing these things, you’re happy and relaxed, because of course, that’s why we set these things out to be our hobbies, because there’s something about being present and engaged that’s actually very enjoyable. It also increases our performance as we learn to really focus and be present, to listen more effectively, to study more effectively, work more effectively, which is of course why this is being used in health care generally, and more in education. And so mindfulness is an everyday experience of being engaged and present with whatever we’re doing from moment to moment. And of course, that’s relatively easy to experience when we’re doing things we enjoy.

Skip to 1 minute andBut for most of us, it’s little harder when we’re under the pump at work, stressed, when we’re facing exams, when we’re sitting in peak hour traffic. For most people, these would be times that we would tend to wander off into the default mode of worrying, or dwelling, or caught up in judgments and reactions, or just daydreaming and not paying attention. So in moments like this, mindfulness becomes a practise. And it is something that we can practise. And of course, anything we practise we get better at.


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And the practise of mindfulness is very simply to intentionally engage with whatever we’re doing in the present moment, to notice when our mind invariably wanders off somewhere else, and then just to bring it back, and just to practise recognising that we wandered and coming back over and over and over again. And as we do that, we actually, of course, get better at recognising, faster at coming back. We start to rewire the brain. And it becomes a much easier thing to do throughout the day, whenever we need it. There are also a number of cognitive practises as well, such as acceptance, letting go, learning to focus on the present, these kinds of things.