Whether you know it or not, we all go through stages of change. It is how our minds and bodies work. Recently, in my membership group, I was talking about weight loss and I have a few ladies in the group that have a long way to go, and with anything we want things to be immediate. It’s who are as humans, as individuals! But we know it doesn’t happen overnight.
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Change is also not linear! It’s up and down and all over the place. Change can take months, or it can take years. So, one of the biggest things I work with my clients on is breaking the status quo. Breaking the rules of what you have followed since day one, years ago and breaking up with those old habits so that you can make the changes you want in your life!
There are 5 Stages Of Change. They were developed by a doctor by the name of James Prochaska.
4. Action Phase
All humans, regardless of the changes we want to make, there are these 5 steps that we go through! And listen, I don’t care what you’re trying to change, there are still 5 steps that you must move your way through.
Step 1 is Pre-Contemplation.
You may not even think that there is a problem to be solved. You may be living in denial, or maybe you tried to change in the past, but it was too hard… This is when you go to your doctor and they are like “Cindy you are pre-diabetic, if you don’t lose 50 pounds, I am going to have to put you on meds to help with your blood sugar.”
This is something that might shock you into awareness or an outside force that is telling you that there is a problem. Some people don’t want to change, and they will stay here. Others will say thanks for the news, but I can’t do it because I’ve tried in the past. So let’s figure out where the barriers are and where it became complicated for them. As a coach, I want my clients to be so in tuned in their bodies that they don’t need me. So, we have to work together to get there!
Step 2 is Contemplation.
This is the, “I am thinking about it.” stage. You see yourself in a pair of pants and you are like, woahh… I need to get serious about losing some weight.
Then you make some vague plans to change… BUT you also may remain here for a few years, gathering information and trying to figure out the best place for you to go to make this change. Uncertainty and overwhelm happen because now you are trying to figure out what you are going to gain vs. what you are going to have to give up!
So… are you doing all this research, and everyone is telling you that you need to do alllll of these things and getting all these no no-nos?? And you are like “Blah!!! I have to give up a lot and I am not ready for that!” This is where a coach comes in and helps you get excited with YOUR change!! Not anyone else’s change!! This is your journey to walk down, and your journey is so much more different than everyone else’s!
A coach will help you get clear on what you are trying to achieve. What behaviors make the most sense for you? What is your reason or your why?? What are your challenges? And we will identify solutions for those challenges so that you can do it at your own pace!
Stage 3 is Preparation.
This is the, “What do we do now?” stage. I am going to work with you to create small steps. We are going to find out what the barriers are for you and figure out your why so we can experiment with different solutions. This is where we get to creating your own personal blueprint/plan!
One of the things I do when I work with my clients to create a plan is we figure out what our non-negotiables are. These are simple healthy things that you can do day in and day out, so you don’t feel nutso! Three simple things you know you can do every day to move in the right direction.
Now the same thing goes for the things that you are not willing to give up.
When we know what those are, then we can work on those things as to what they are and see how we can fit them into your diet. Candy, chocolate, sour patch kids, cream, and sugar in coffee? What is it you need? And how can we make it work? What makes you feel happy… and how can we blend it into your life? Let’s make this like Goldilocks. Not too much, not too little, justttt right!
So, I focus on creating this blueprint and plan with each of my clients so that we don’t get squirrely and lose patience. Each plan is unique to that person and it will always be there to remind you of your strengths and that you can do this!!
Stage 4 is the Action Phase.
The “I got this.” phase. Here is where we start to really change our surroundings. Maybe we are being more mindful of what we are doing and choosing. And this is where other people will start to notice your own true commitment!
You are now feeling more confident practicing these new healthy behaviors!! And guess what??? Behaviors become habits and routines because this is who you are now, and it doesn’t feel awkward anymore to do it over and over again daily!! This phase is really where we start to focus on making this effortless. But be aware of things, because here is where there becomes a hard chance of relapse or lapse…
As a coach, I work with my clients to clearly identify your ideal outcome of all the things.
What are you looking for in your health and what are the obstacles? What is the plan for what is next if we tripped and fell? We need to break down where the kink in the chain was so that one misstep doesn’t make it all crumble
Let’s define the good, the bad, and ugly and breakthrough that all or nothing cycle!!!
Stage 5 is Maintenance.
The “I am still going.” phase. This is when you become the energizer bunny!!! You are daily practicing goals, and daily practicing habits. Now you will actively pay attention to 4 areas of your life that need to stay burning to keep you warm!
With maintenance, we are always going to be tweaking the heat on 1 of these 4 burners!
So just working on subtle ways to make a change and subtle ways to why we are doing this. You have to be your own cheerleader and reconnect to why you want to do this and why you wanted it in the first place! And guess what, as a coach, I am going to be there for you to prevent you from a downward spiral!!!
Are you in the midst of this stage model? If so, where are you at in these stages of change?
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