How to Create Unstoppable Momentum for Change
Spring has sprung! It’s time for new beginnings, growth and manifestation. Flowers, trees and plants are blooming. Temperatures are rising. People are thrilled to get outdoors. New lives continue to bless us all with joy and promise. There is a momentum to spring that is unstoppable. The type of momentum you want to build for the pursuit of your healthiest life. You can make this happen by preparing for change prior to acting on new behaviors. Change happens in stages as outlined by James O. Prochaska, Ph.D., in the stages of readiness to change (RTC). Preparation involves the pursuit of reading, reflecting, thinking, discussing, listening, discovering and deciding activities that are in line with the earlier stages of RTC. Each activity completed will continue to grow your confidence, readiness and willingness laying a solid foundation for lasting behavior changes!
“Just Do It”, the successful Nike marketing campaign, epitomizes the message the media blasts when it comes to behavior change. The slogan paired with successful athletes implies it’s as easy as deciding what you want and moving into action! As a result we have been conditioned to see change as an all or nothing proposition. We are either acting on new behaviors or not. If we are not acting we are not succeeding. This minimization of the change process leads many to act on new behaviors before they are ready. The danger being that repeated attempts to act on behaviors before ready without success leads to many giving up.
Preparation begins with figuring out your stage of RTC. Stage of RTC needs to be assessed for all of the types of behaviors that will contribute to you reaching your desired outcome. Most of the time there is more than one behavior that needs to change. For example, if one wants to learn how to better manage their depression there is generally more than one symptom that needs to be better managed, such as: manage irritability, improve sleep, etc.… Whereas if one wants to lose weight the behaviors to assess stages of RTC for are healthy eating, exercise and stress management if one is an emotional eater.
Next all the behaviors that are included in that type of behavior are broken down into the behaviors currently in place and those that need to change. Let’s use healthy eating as an example. Healthy eating is made up of a number of behaviors, some that one is already doing and others that need to change. For example, one may have already given up drinking soda and started drinking 64oz of water daily as well as having realized that in order to lose weight practicing portion control and eating less fast food is needed. Determination of stage of RTC for healthy eating would be made based on ones’ attitude toward changing the eating behaviors that need to change.
Once you are aware of the behaviors that need to change for each type of behavior you are ready to assess your stage of RTC for each group of behaviors. You will do this by selecting "What is Your Readiness?" from the "About Dr. Stephanie" drop down menu on the website. Once the stages of RTC for each type of behavior have been identified you will start preparing for the behavior that is closest to the action stage of RTC by working on the activities outlined there.
By sharing the self-knowledge and insights gained from pursuit of the activities with me, I will be able to guide you from not thinking, to thinking, to planning, to doing and to continue doing the desired behavior. Regardless of your stage of RTC there is important work to be completed. Taking the time to prepare will assist you in moving forward, laying a solid foundation for change, and creating an unstoppable momentum toward reaching your vision of your healthiest life.