By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietian & Nutrition Counselor
There are “Stages of Change” that each person must go through in order to actually do anything new. The Academy of Nutrition has the following listing of processes for every person’s development towards change in behavior:
- Pre-contemplation: Stage before any thought is given to modify any behaviors.
- Contemplation: Subject is aware they have a change they would like to make, but have not made the commitment.
- Preparation: Decision-making has arrived; and the person will take action within about 30 days. They are already making small behavioral changes.
- Action: Subjects make notable overt efforts to change; and have targeted behavior they want to be different.
- Maintenance: Persons stabilize behavioral changes to avoid relapse.
All in all, everyone must go through these steps in order to arrive at a good outcome.
One other excellent source of input on this matter of change is the work at the University of Pennsylvania Foundation for Positive Psychology. Dr. Martin Seligman, is a world renowned expert on the “positive approach” and its necessity in the change process. The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program has been used by the military, workforce development, and many other social institutions that benefited greatly by the use of this process.
So, with that said, I challenge you to approach everything as though it is a new and wonderful day of experience.
- Go to the gym with renewed energy and excitement.
- Plan to meet friends at the gym and use teamwork to obtain a positive outcome for all.
- Each day eat the best nutritious foods that you can find. Learn that perhaps a full feeling at all times throughout the day is not needed, and that waiting for the next meal is a positive experience.
- Make the scale your friend and, for sure, your scorecard to success!
For more detailed information on the topics discussed above and how they can help you, let us know more about your goals and what you would like to change.
Where are you in the stages of change? Do you use positive emotions & psychology to get through your change process?