March 3

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Are You Ready To Change? Start at the Right Stage

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Jumping into a fitness regime before you are mentally ready will likely result in disappointment. There are well-documented stages of change we go through when adjusting habits. By ensuring you are ready to commit, you greatly increase your chances of long term success.

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What stage of change are you in?

The people who receive maximum benefit from their membership, are the ones who want to join a gym and join regardless of any promotion or obstacle. This is because the first step to improving your health or wellbeing, by creating work/life balance, is wanting to achieve it!

This is a simple thing to say and yet is a very powerful lever for creating behaviour change.

Let’s look at Prochaska’s stages of behaviour change for why people cannot achieve work/life balance:

Updated Stages of Change model

stage 1

Pre-contemplation

Not even considering the behaviour change as you are not ready;

stage 2

Contemplation

Change has now entered your mind and you're getting ready. However, you're not ready to start. You'll hear yourself saying the word ‘should’. "I should start to exercise." "I should watch what I eat and work at my diet";

stage 3

Preparation

You are now ready to start. At this point, you'll start to tell friends you are ‘going to’ start the new behaviour;

stage 4

Action

As the word suggests you are doing the new behaviour;

stage 5

Maintenance

The new behaviour has begun, but the challenge is to maintain it. You will now need support once you are here.

stage 6

Relapse

Can happen at any time where you fall out of the behaviour and the process starts again.

Cycle diagram showing 6 stages of change: pre-contemplation; contemplation; preparation; action; maintenance; relapse

Which stage are you currently in?

Ready for action

What we know is that until you are in the ‘action’ stage of creating a change in your balance you will not be committed to the new behaviour. We also know that to get to that stage a significant emotional event will cause a shift or education.

If you are not in the action stage, then you are simply not ready to create the change. And if you start, there is a good chance you will fail as you are not quite 100 per cent in it.

Sometimes, we try to jump stages and start before our mind is truly ready. This will often lead us into relapse as opposed to maintenance. Relapse means we start the process all over again.

We have to be ready for the commitment in order to successfully change. And when you are, success is imminent.

Are you ready to make a change, or are you still thinking?

About the author

Paul Stokes

Paul Stokes BSc (Hons) is a Certified Personal Trainer, Accredited Sports Nutritionist, qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Precision Nutrition coach, Massage Therapist and teaches 8 of the Les Mills Group Exercise programs. He currently works in the Oil & Gas industry as a Wellness Coach, imparting his vast knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life of several hundred offshore workers.

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