Do You Know 6 Stages of Behavior Change…Besides a Kick in the Pants
Let’s face it not all of us like to initiate change where as others live by the constant excitement and possibilities that change can bring. One of my massage clients this week said something very honest and compelling. She said something along the line “I don’t stick with exercise because I don’t find it fun, I don’t stick with it, I get bored and music is very important to help me move.”
For me, change is something I strive for in becoming excellent or mastering a new skill set. I’ve known for years that there are some people that just don’t like to exercise and usually these people can be a little more motivated if they go to a group class and feel the energy of the group and get into a rhythm either by music or by habit and feel good vibes.
This particular client can only take light to medium pressure during massage therapy touch and is very sensitive and a little jumpy when I go to the glutes and a few other areas. The calves can take more pressure but that’s because this individual has some muscle tone in this area. While discussing with another massage therapist reasons why this person might be sensitive, the therapist asked me if the client had muscle or good muscle tone. I said no and pondered it for a minute. In our discussion the therapist said it’s likely because muscle tone acts as a barrier and if none is present it’s more likely to be felt in the nerves. This makes total sense to me because I have found that large breasted women that also have excess weight around the lat areas are very sensitive to pressure as well regardless of current muscle tone. Being overweight, unfit or not doing any strength training has so many disadvantages and on so many levels. A recent New York times article said that strength training and cardio exercise increases longevity. Who wants to be older but yet weak and have to depend on others for moving or carrying things or even everyday tasks.
Because I am genetically prone to be thin but gain weight on a high fat diet I have to be observant, learn from others experiences and read the science behind behavior change and inactivity woes. I have consistently lifted weights since age 14 (over 35 years) have done cardio and stretching programs since that time as well. I learned via my formal college and grad school studies, certifications, continued education, research and meal planning for myself and clients how to make healthier choices.
The Elements of Change
To succeed, you need to understand the three most important elements in changing a behavior:
- Readiness to change: Do you have the resources and knowledge to make a lasting change successfully?
- Barriers to change: Is there anything preventing you from changing?
- Likelihood of relapse: What might trigger a return to a former behavior?
below (parenthesis denote the characteristics of the stage)
after the parenthesis a few ideas or roadmap for this stage
STAGE 1 – Pre-Contemplation (denial and ignorance of the problem), scrutinize your behavior, access yourself and your actions, what will happen if you do not change
STAGE 2 – Contemplation (conflicted and doubtful you will stick with it), weigh pros & cons of taking action, check in with yourself that you are indeed ready, where are you on a scale of 1 to 10 of being committed, what are possible barriers to change and how will you get around them (mentally preparing for this has proven to help).
STAGE 3 – Preparation (try small changes and collect information about things that you might consider doing or participating in and the benefits of such action) Write down goals, learn or hire a professional to help you towards those goals, make a list of inspiring phrases that fit your vision of success
STAGE 4 – Action (Get moving & take initiative) Reward your feats and seek social support
STATE 5 – Maintenance (maintain new behavior and RESIST temptation), develop lasting strategies for temptation and don’t forget to reward yourself (with kind words, affirmation, new fitness clothes or gear, time with friends)
STAGE 6 – Relapse (feelings: disappointment, feelings of failing, frustration)
how to get out………..recognize triggers, barriers, proclaim your goals in written form or tell someone for support
Accessing where you are now and wrapping your head around what strategies are needed to prepare and be successful is all part of the steps of making and creating lasting habits for success.
Why put off your fitness…..let’s discuss your fitness & nutrition needs. All it takes is a call or text to get the conversation started. Maybe you can be one of the charter clients for South Carolina location, LET’S GET MOVING, even if it’s online for now. Plans to restart construction by the fall 2022. Don’t get me started on why we paused as I’m in a constant state of trying to be present. Let’s just say this is the first time I have ever filed a lawsuit against someone and that someone being previous contractor.
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Owner/Dir. of Training
(Club 29 Fitness Inc.)