“Change is not an action… change is a process… it happens in stages.”
John Norcross, PhD
October 30, 2014
We have been chatting about exercise motivation, how to get it and keep it.
Just a reminder – keep revisiting your vision of what you truly want from weight loss. This is the beacon to guide you on this process. This IS your motivation. We are just giving it some legs…
Last week we brainstormed actions you can take to get to your true goal.
Before actually turning that into an actual goal, we need to know how ready you are for action.
The Stages of Change theory has been well-tested and used in many areas of behavior change.
I had the privilege of seeing John Norcross, PhD at a conference this fall. See link at the top of this page for much more info on the website for his latest book. The big take away from his talk was the importance of the doing the preparation work before diving into action.
Just as babies learn to walk in stages – lifting their legs and arms then rolling over, then getting on hands and knees then crawling then pulling up, then standing, then one tiny little step…. eventually running and climbing. All done in the right stages leads to success. The body is just not ready to walk as a newborn. Change happens in stages….
So ask yourself what stage you are in your readiness to take on this next step
- Psych (get ready),
- Prep (prepare before leaping),
- Perspire (take action),
- Persevere (manage slips), and
- Persist (maintain change)
Ask yourself the following…
- Am I seriously intending to change that problem within the next 90 days?
- If not, you are not yet ready for change (choose another behavior you are more ready to change)
- If you reply that you are seriously considering changing the problem in the next three months, then you are in Psych for that goal.
- If you intend to take action in the next month, you reside in Prep
- If you are currently changing it, then you are already in Perspire
- If you are dealing with the inevitable slips and struggles of self change, you are in persevere
- Finally, if you are ensuring the long-term success of your new, healthier lifestyle, you are in the Persist
If you are in the psych or prep stages and you jump into action, you are much more likely to have a temporary change. Your goal in this phase would be more of setting yourself up for success. For example: “I will go on saturday morning and take a tour of three gyms in my area”. Not actually exercising but preparing to do so. Taking your time in this phase greatly increases your chance of success.
Here is encouraging news from Dr. Norcross’s research “Moving forward in just one stage (any stage) doubles the chance of long-term success”. So even if you just go from considering to start exercising to preparing to exercise you are twice as likely to succeed.
The goal this week is to look at what you would like to be doing and see what stage of change you are in for that action.
Next week we will turn it in to a goal that can ramp up motivation.
Keep Moving, Be Well