GET IN TO A
STATE OF MIND
All of us, at some point in our lives, confront our ability to be more active and add more positive lifestyle choices to our days. Some of us will get to this process of change through an intrinsic desire for a healthier lifestyle, while others will get there due to a current health concern or crisis.
There are stages we go through for making changes in our lives. Whether this is our first approach to a healthier lifestyle or a recommitment, we are all somewhere in this process.
Starting a diet, beginning a fitness program, or making a behavioral change is the ACTION stage of this process. It is the YES stage.
Are you in the YES stage? Read on to learn what the process is in “Getting To Yes”.
GETTING TO YES
Are you ready to be more active? Are you ready to be accountable for your nutrition? Are you ready to address your negative lifestyle behaviors?
Read through these steps of change. Where are you? You will be surprised to find that there are definable stages of change...knowing what stage you are in can help you decide what to do next.
STAGES OF CHANGE
Stage #1 - PRE-CONTEMPLATION
You are NOT in this stage!
In this stage you are not aware of a need for change. You are not considering becoming more active or adopting healthier eating and lifestyle habits. You would not have read this far ;)
Stage #2 - CONTEMPLATION
You are in this stage if you are thinking about eating better and/or becoming more active. In the CONTEMPLATION stage you are still sedentary but are examining the idea of change.
You are beginning to understand the importance of activity and wise food choices and the serious implications of not changing. You are imagining a different you.
Regardless of the thought processes a commitment to change HAS NOT been made.
Now is the time to keep learning. Read articles, surf the web, talk to your friends. Become a sponge for information and inspiration.
Don't stress about change but do have an open mind and keep moving forward. Absorb as much lifestyle information as you can.
Stage #3 - PREPARATION
In the PREPARATION stage you may have begun to incorporate some activity and wise food choices into your daily activities. A conscious decision to park in the back of the parking lot or a desire to eat more mindfully.
There is an interest in change but NO COMMITMENT has been made yet. Your mind is flip flopping on the pros and cons of such a change.
NOTE: This is a tricky stage as you can be here for a long time. You can also move on to the ACTION stage and find yourself back here after a mishap.
Once again don't stress about the lack of action at this stage... the desire is growing stronger to act... Just be mindful of decisions regarding food choices and not always trying to find the closest parking spot.
If you find yourself in this stage after falling out of the action or maintenance stage. Stop! Take a deep breath and evaluate your situation. When ready, return to the ACTION stage by contacting a workout buddy, going to your favorite group class, or calling a Health Coach/Personal Trainer.
Stage #4 - ACTION
When you think of healthy habits and lifestyles you are imagining being in this stage! This is the action stage... You're in. You're committed!
During this stage you are actively participating in exercise and behaviour modification and have been doing so for less than 6 months. You may have hired a personal trainer or joined a gym. You are excited about the changes unfolding in you and around you.
You're losing weight, sleeping better, feeling better. People are commenting on how vibrant you seem, they may even notice some pounds lost.
You feel unstoppable. You wonder why you didn't start earlier. You're energized and on top of the world... It is so easy.
This is the stage and time to explore all the different ways of exercising and eating correctly. Your energy and enthusiasm are higher now than all the other stages combined.
Unfortunately this is the stage of overzealous workouts and funky dieting. Done to extremes will lead to burnout or injury...both of which will put you back in the preparation or pre-contemplation stage.
Stage #5 - MAINTENANCE
This stage is marked by regular physical activity and proper dietary requirements for more than 6 months. This is an extension of the ACTION stage. Staying motivated and enjoying your new way of living is your goal.
Becoming active is easy for those that have reached stage #4, the ACTION stage. Maintaining that resolve is the challenge in the MAINTENANCE stage. This is your biggest challenge!
You must learn to navigate the up’s and downs of change. You will not always feel you are doing your best. You may not always feel as energized as in the ACTION stage...but you continue in your healthy ways.
The process of change is a journey. Along the road you may find yourself stuck in any one area for long periods of time. You may also move forward and backward through these stages.
Moving forward though these steps, progressing towards a healthier you, may need some encouragement and guidance.
Creating new social ties, reading and researching healthy ways of living, and incorporating what you learn into your everyday life will keep the motivation going.
This is a LIFESTYLE...meaning, it is for life. Don’t rush anything, adapt to your body and mental state at your pace. This is not a race...it is a process of improvement. And improvement never ends.
“We must stand atop our accomplishments
and resist laying beneath our defeats!”
This is MY editorial of TTM (Trans-theoretical Model of Behavioral Change).