The 5 Stages Of Change – Are You Ready To Change?

We are bombarded daily by commercials that promise drastic weight loss, however, if we all be honest, permanent weight loss is a result of making behavior or lifestyle changes and does not occur with diet pills.

We are often told by our physicians, health care providers, and, sometimes, our significant others that we need to get healthier and change our behaviors. However, if we are honest, we may not see the need for a change.

A greater understanding of how a change occurs allows for higher chances of accomplishing that change we want to accomplish.

Or, if we desire to make a change, we have little to no direction on how to get started. What can be even more discouraging is that, once you get started, you hit a wall and lose your desire to keep going. Can you say frustrating?

Have you experienced this before?
You clean out your refrigerator, buy new exercise equipment, and workout clothes, but for some reason you just can’t stick with it.
If you continually experience this song and dance, I have news that may relieve some of your frustration.

What you are experiencing are the stages of change. Yes, the process of change has stages and isn’t a one-time event.
Therefore exhale and pause for moment; allow me to take you through the five stages of change.
By providing you with this information, it is my hope that you will have a better understanding of how change works.

Are you ready? Let’s learn the five stages

  1. PRE-CONTEMPLATION
    In this stage of change, a person doesn’t recognize that he or she needs to make a change and doesn’t plan on doing anything different within the next 6 months, regardless of what he or she hears from others. The individual in this stage of change often ignores or denies their current condition (example: Someone tells John that it would be beneficial to his health if he started walking to shed some unhealthy weight. John gets up and walks away and says, “My weight is fine just the way it is.”).
  2. CONTEMPLATION
    In this stage of change, an individual begins to think about making a change within the next 6 months and begins to weigh the pros of making a change (example: If I start eating healthier I could possibly lose weight and be taken off of my blood pressure medication).
  3. PREPARATION
    In this stage of change, an individual begins to make the necessary plans in order to begin their process of change (example: Sally went to her community YMCA and signed up for their group fitness class. She plans on going 3 days per week and believes the accountability will help her stay on track).
  4. ACTION
    In this stage of change, and individual is actively doing the things that he or she needs to do in order to reach their desired outcome (example: John has been eating small healthy meals every 2-3 hours and he’s logging all of his meals in his meal planner for the last 2 months).
  5. MAINTENANCE
    In this stage of change, a person is maintaining their new behaviors and is less apt to go back to their old lifestyle behaviors. It is important to mention a person in this phase of change can return to old behaviors. Although the longer a person is in this phase and he or she has adopted new lifestyle behaviors and possess more tools to assist them with staying on track (example: Michelle has been eating healthy, working out and getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night for over 6 months. She feels and looks great) the less likely they will revert to old lifestyle behaviors.

A greater understanding of how a change occurs allows for higher chances of accomplishing that change we want to accomplish.

We bombarded daily by commercials that promise drastic weight loss with the popping of a few pills, but the truth is that permanent weight loss is a result of making behavior or lifestyle changes and does not and will not occur with diet pills.




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