Monday, April 30, 2012

A Time for Change: Stage 4 – ACTION!

You have made it!  You are now putting your plan in motion and you are probably already completing new activities and changing your behaviors.  In the previous stage you made the necessary changes to fit your new behaviors into your schedule.  The change that you are now engaged in may take some effort since it may take more time than you previously thought.  For example, you may have joined a fitness class and you are now realizing that you have to stretch or fix your posture throughout the day, while away from the class.  This is the time that you need to adapt and make room for these small differences in your original plan to change. 

This stage usually lasts about 6 months and is the time where the change is still new to you.  This can be beneficial because people may notice the change right off the bat.  Say you are beginning a new diet; people may compliment you on how you are looking.  If your change was to get a more healthy dose of sleep (i.e. 7-8 hours) people may find that you are more alert and in a better mood.  There are some draw backs.  You will be more distractible at this stage and may slip back into your old habits.  Do not panic if this happens, as it most likely will.  The most important part is that you get back on track as soon as possible. 

Here are the steps you need to take in order to move on to the last stage; Maintenance.

Make Goals! – If you have goals for your action then you can work each and every day to get closer to them.  Do not make hard to obtain goals at first.  If you have never worked out in your life do not have a marathon be your first goal, start with running a mile. As you reach each relatively easy goal you can set a new one for the future. 

Give yourself Credit – It has been shown that those that are rewarded tend to thrive with change. It is like giving a weekly/monthly allowance to a teenager for doing chores; they are more likely to complete their chores since there is a reward.  Give yourself a small “cheat day” if you have exercised or dieted as you had planned for 2 or more weeks.  Be sure to give yourself some self-praise, you deserve it. 

In our next and final installment you will have the keys to actually maintain the change in your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment