Let’s talk behavior. This can be applied in any area of your life, smoking cessation, alcohol abstinence, weight reduction, better eating habits, less sress or the adoption of regular exercise routine. Are you wanting to make a change somewhere in your life? Are you not sure where to start and how to change that behavior?
Let’s talk about the different stages of behavior modification and while reading these stages, ask yourself what stage you fall into and how to get yourself to that next stage.
STAGE 1: PRE-CONTEMPATION-This stage you haven’t even thought of a change. You are unmotivated, resistant, and engaged in avoidance tactics. This stage your are NOT ready for change. How do you move from this stage to the next?
*Make a pro and con list
*Set a small goal that will help transition you into stage 2
STAGE 2: CONTEMPLATION– This is the stage where you are seriously considering a change. You havebecome more aware of the benefits BUT still are not ready to initiate new behavior. You have started talking about making a change. How do you move from this stage to the next?
*Discuss that pro and con list you made in stage 1 with your support system.
STAGE 3: PREPARATION– You have begun to make a change by “preparing” yourself. You may have made a small change towards your new behavior. How to initiate a successful stage 3?
*Reach out to a trainer or health club, purchase a session or some new at home equipment
*Perhaps set a small attainable goal
*Identify your barriers
STAGE 4: ACTION– YOU DID IT! You are actively making a change. STOP! This stage is the most DIFFICULT, the drop out rate is the HIGHEST! You must give yourself 6 weeks to 6 months, yes I said it 6 weeks to 6 months!!! How to successfully make it through the 6 months?
*Short term goals
*Continue using this new behavior in your everyday life
*Discuss with your supprot system relapse prevention
*Set up a reward system with yourself
STAGE 5: MAINTENANCE– This is the stage that SUSTAINS LONG-TERM, ONGOING CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE NEW BEHAVIOR AND SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION OF IT INTO THE LIFESTYLE.
*Prepare for future setbacks, you are human afterall.
*Focus on your achievements
Stage 5 should stay with you for the rest of your life. Now, what stage are you in and how can we get you to the next?