Stages of Change
Would you believe that our brain can actually view change as a threat? In a previous post I discussed the idea that we analyze multiple factors when making a health decision. The model above, called the Stages of Change Model speaks to the fact that change happens in stages. Meaning...change just doesn't happen overnight.
Contemplation-before attempting change, it first starts with thinking about change...contemplating it. During the contemplation stage, the decision to act on the thought or goal hasn't been fully made. Pros and cons factor heavily into the decision making process in this stage.
Preparation-just like it says, we are preparing to take action on change. Moving on from just thinking about it, we are now closer to committing. Examples might be starting to look at gyms, new fitness clothes, fitness programs, equipment, etc.
Action-it doesn't quite yet guarantee we will be successful yet, but we at least take action on the new goal or behavior. During the action stage, goal setting, time and attention towards preparation and planning, and having a plan for setbacks are key strategies for success.
Maintenance-this is the ultimate goal-maintenance of this new behavior (s) that led towards us achieving our goal.
How might this be helpful? It is a visual representation to say that change is a process, involves thought and planning, and can require multiple stages. The end result? So worth it...achieving positive behaviors that lead towards you achieving your goals-a great feeling!