I’ve often wondered, what induces others to make change? Change is rarely easy. And when it comes to asking your body to do with less, while it does more–now you’re talking task, trial, and temptation. Hmm..wonder if there’s a storyline there? Perhaps another day. For now, the question is “ARE YOU READY?”
There are many ways to assess readiness. However this model for me, strikes a chord. Why? Possibly because the categories, don’t tell the whole story. They may even be a bit misleading. So why would I like something like that? You’ll see.
WHAT’S IN A NAME…
As I stated above, names and particularly categories, can be misleading. Consider this. Self-help books and theories abound regarding how to change your mind, change your life. How many of them have really worked for you? For me, it hasn’t been many. When I first saw this “stages of change” model, my first thought was “here we go again.” A little less psycho-babble and lot more change please. But if you look carefully, that’s exactly what this, well, exacts.
TRANSTHEORETICAL MODEL OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE
Precontemplation: This describes someone who doesn’t exercise, and isn’t interested in it either. Now for me, contemplation means you are at least thinking about the subject. Yet, this clearly states “pre.” So I guess in a roundabout way, it fits.
Contemplation: Someone at this point is thinking about changing a behavior. Ok. You’ve arrived at the point of wanting something better for yourself. Still, it’s a conversation that’s taking place in your head.
Preparation: At least here, you are doing something. It may not meet the established guidelines/criteria set forth by the exercise community, but you’re somewhat engaged. Preparation means getting ready, so at least you are “ready,” haven’t gotten to “set” yet, and “go” is still in the distance.
Action: Action refers to someone who exercises meeting established criteria–but the catch is this: it has been less than 6 months. This is probably the most vulnerable stage of change. Why? After all, you are working out. True enough, but will it continue? Can it continue with the intensity needed to bring your goal to fruition? Here is where many fall short and drop off, or unfortunately, drop out.
Maintenance: Here, you are meeting your established criteria (that may differ from one person to the next) AND it has been going on for at least 6 months. Maintenance may mean you’ve attained your fitness goals, but not necessarily. Really, attaining and maintaining are two different things. While you don’t want to regain the lbs you’ve worked so hard to lose, with possibly more to go, what exactly is going to keep you from doing just that? Maintenance requires planning; not just good intentions and lip service of “I’ll never go back to that again.”
So where are you in all of this? Take an in-depth look at these categories. And while they are just that, categories–where are you?
If you’ve ever thought about it or wanted it, you are still in contemplation. It’s still a head game, What will it take to make it an end game?
If you’ve fallen off the “action” wagon, what will it take for you to get back on?
Are you maintaining the even strain? How? More to the point, for how long?
There are questions which a model of change poses. Answers? Well it gives few. Definitions it details. But really, the only question which requires a definitive answer is this. Are you ready yet?
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.