Lifestyle Are you Actually Ready for Change?


The six phases of behavioral change

When I begin to work with a new client, I can fairly quickly gauge whether or not he/she is going to last as a client. It becomes evident quickly if this person is willing and able to make changes or if they are still just liking the idea of change.

Did you know there are 6 phases to behavioral change?
1. Pre-Contemplation

Failing to recognize the need for change. If you are here, you are not signing up for a fitness or nutrition program yet.

2. Contemplation

You are seriously considering the need for change. You are considering the pros and cons of changing or staying the same.

3. Preparation

You have decided change is worth it and necessary and you are starting to make small changes to achieve it. This may include getting support, coaching, or joining a group or program. It may include getting equipment or doing a kitchen makeover at home.

4. Action

You have been exercising or eating better for less than six months. This is a tough spot to be in because you are still considered fragile. It is early in the game and you need to be vigilant in maintaining the changes you are making. This is why so many people find amazing success in short-term programs ( like the 6-week or 10-week kick-start) but fail to carry over into long-term behavioral change.

5. Maintenance

You are now maintaining and acting out behavioral changes for more than 6 months. It is important to stick with these changes to avoid relapse.

6. Termination or Relapse

Termination is when you now have no desire to return to your previous behaviors. Change is sticking!

Relapse Happens.

Sometimes life throws curve balls that knock us off course. Relapse is not failure. It is simply an opportunity to explore different methods for behavioral change or to simply get back up and start again. The road will not feel as long or hard because you have walked it before. You simply need to start again.

In understanding if you are ready to make a change it is important to understand WHY you want to make a change? 

For me…

#1 Reason for Change–  Movement and nutrition improve my mental health to fight against and manage depression.

#2 Reason for Change-  I want to improve my physical health so that I can be active and healthy with my husband and children for as long as possible. I prefer to move through my day with no pain or discomfort. 

#3 Reason to Change-  I am a happier individual when I am healthier. 

What is your WHY? Why do you want to change? Have you considered what the pros and cons will be if you make a change?

If you are ready to make a change, reach out for help. Many health professionals thrive in walking beside people as they work to make new behavioral changes into strong, long-lasting life-giving habits.

Watson Wellness

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