I work with at risk children, youth and families which means I often base my work around the stages of change model. I have to see where a client is sitting within the stages before I can push/support them to make a change in their life. This is where my head goes when I’m working on something I want to change as well.
I’m past the Pre-Contemplation stage- where you have no intention to change anything
I was teetering between the contemplation and planning stages for most of December.
Contemplation- aware of the problem but no commitment to change.
Preparation (or Planning some call it)-intent on taking action to change.
I knew what the problem was (my weight/lack of self confidence due to my weight/my eating habits/my lack of exercise) and I wanted to change all of that, but it’s hard to commit. Near the end of December I started planning on changing- started meal planning for January, planning time to meal prep and planned workouts into my schedule.
Now it’s time to Action this shit. -actively modifying the behaviour that needs changing.
I am now working on the Action stage. I have been working out daily (for 3 days ya’ll lol, but i’m working on actioning it), paying closer attention to what I’m eating and why i’m eating. I just need to ensure I do this so that it becomes habit so I can then move into the next stage which is,
Maintenance- sustain change, new behaviour replaces the old.
There is also this thing called Relapse.
What happened in December was a relapse- fall back into old patterns/behaviour. This is also a very normal step in the stages of change, it’s often upsetting and disappointing. It doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. I slipped back into not exercising, not eating well and just being lazy. All sort of things can trigger this: for me, this time, it was getting sick. I’ve gotten sick before and it hasn’t triggered me to turn back into a lazy ass. You just never know for sure.
I sometimes hate that relapse is a normal part of the stages of change, but change takes a lot of work. Relapse is also a time to look back and reflect from what went wrong the first, second, third (however many) attempts and try things differently the next time. I’m sure I’ll hit a few more relapse’s and I’ll start over. Like I said before, it’s hard to admit I’ve failed, but I don’t give up.
Where are you in your stage of change?