How to ACTUALLY succeed

Behavior Change

Have you ever had the upmost intentions of making your life better but just couldn’t follow through?

How many times do you say to yourself— “I want to get healthier and feel better but I just can’t, I always fail!”

Today I want to introduce a topic called Stages of Behavior Change. The Transtheoretical Model or Stages of Change is a psychological model that helps us understand behavior change.

There are 5 stages of change. Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance.

Pre-contemplation is the first stage. People in the pre-contemplation stage are not aware of a need to change. Let’s use an example as someone who does not exercise. They see no need to exercise are uninformed or unmotivated to make any changes to their current lifestyle in the next 6 months or more.

Contemplation is the next stage. People in contemplation stage are aware there are pros and cons of making a behavior change. They are weighing the benefits and risks of beginning to exercise. They are not ready to take action right away but may intend to change within 6 months.

Preparation is the third stage. People in the preparation stage are ready to take action. They have usually already taken small action steps. They have a plan of exercise or are joining a gym within the month.

Action is the fourth phase. People in the action stage have made specific changes in their lifestyle. There should be an observable change in the behavior change. They have been modifying their behavior significantly within the last 6 months. They have gone from 0 days of exercise to 3 days a week.

Maintenance is the last phase. People in the maintenance stage have successfully made lifestyle changes. They actively work to prevent any relapses into old behavior habits. They can be in a maintenance phase anywhere from 6 months to 5 years before the behavior change becomes absolute. They have been exercising consistently for a year and now are in a solid routine. They actively monitor rest days and make sure not to fall into an inactive lifestyle pattern again.

It can be really helpful to evaluate where you are in the behavior change cycle. I would like to emphasize that it is a CYCLE. People easily take steps backwards and forwards so the process is not linear. In a 1990 Surgeon’s General Report about tobacco smokers 43% of returned to smoking after a 12 month period of maintenance.

Well that’s depressing, right? So how do we make sure we’re not that 43%?

1- Be patient with yourself. Behavior change is one of the HARDEST things to do as a human being. If you stumble a bit just return to your why and evaluate how to proceed.

2- Be realistic with your goals. Setting small, achievable goals sets you up for success (see “last blog” )

3- Be honest with yourself. If you are feeling apprehensive or negative feelings towards change evaluate your current stage. Maybe you need to adjust your thinking or patterns to be more successful.

4- GET SUPPORT! Humans are social creatures whether we like it or not. It is very important to have accountability like minded individuals. When making tough behavior changes, you need to find people who will support and believe in you so you can feed off our their strength.

Remember that behavior change is hard but definitely do-able! You just have to have a great plan, awesome support and overall dedication. I would love to help you explore the changes you should make to CRUSH your goals! Apply for my coaching program 💪🏼

How to set a resolution you can actually keep

We all know that it’s the time of the year. Everyone’s had an insane amount of Christmas cookies and spent too much time on the couch then they like to admit.

If you’re feeling a little uneasy about your habits from the past days, weeks, heck even months I’m sure getting “healthy” for the New Year sounds good to you. So how do we set a resolution that we can actually accomplish? GLAD YA ASKED!

First and MOST importantly the goal should be something that you want for yourself. Not what your parents think, not what society think but what you truly want and are ready to commit to. Let’s use our example as “I want to lose weight”. Great, super common goal. Now let’s use SMART goals to make it an actually achievable goal.

1- Specific. the goal(s) needs to be something specific. Being “healthy” or isn’t enough. How do you know if you’re healthy? What’s your defining factor? Is doing yoga everyday your “healthy”? Eating meat once a week? Reaching a healthy bodyweight? The more specific you can make your goal the more real it becomes. So far we have-

Reach a healthy bodyweight.

2- Measureable. Arguably the most important aspect of SMART. Losing weight is not measureable. Losing 15lbs is! So far we have-

Reach a healthy bodyweight by losing 15lbs.

3- Action. The goal should be action focused. Losing weight fails this test too. Limiting eating out at restaurants to once a week is an action! The action can be added on to the original goal. So far now we have-

Lose 15lbs by limiting dining out to once a week.

4- Reasonable. In my opinion this is the hardest step. When setting a goal we are often excited and want to set lofty expectations. I would encourage you to really dig deep and make sure you are at least 75% confident you can do this. If you aren’t exercising at all currently don’t set a goal to exercise every single day. You will most likely burn out and fail which will lead to disappointment. Instead shoot for something you are confident in doing so you can feel good about it. So for our example we can limiting our dining out from once a week to 3 times a week. So far now we have-

Lose 15lbs by limiting dining out to 3 times a week.

5- Time based. Time is crucial to our goal setting. Losing 15lbs in 2 weeks is not achievable in a sustainable manner. Losing 15lbs in 3 months is more realistic. Now our goal is ready!!

I would like to lose 15lbs in 3 months by limiting my dining out to 3 times a week.

Ultimately weight loss has more to do with nutrition, so we may have to tweak and add to the goal along the way depending on our progress but now we have a solid definition of what we are working towards. Psychology has proven that setting and achieving goals helps boost motivation, self confidence and autonomy (psychologytoday.com). I hope this explanation helped you figure out how you want to set your resolutions this year. If you need help or guidance don’t hesitate to ask! Happy New Year 🎆

5 things I wish I knew at 18 (with gifs!)

1- The job market is so much harder then you think.

Most jobs you see you’re either going to be grossly overqualified or under-qualified. Only go to college if you have a clear path where that degree will take you. Focus on learning as much as you can and do things that will help your future.

2- Not everyone you meet is going to be as kind as you.

Not everyone will be the kind of friend you are. Don’t waste your energy with those people. Surround yourself with people who care about you through the good and the bad. Find people who understand you or at least empathize with you. Appreciate your loved ones and the ones who take care of you.

3- Take care of yourself first.

Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially or intellectually. Don’t put someone else in front of your own care. Take care of your body and your mind. Be active as often as you can. Eat in moderation but still enjoy what you like! Always put yourself first. You can’t help others if you’re sick or drained.

4- It’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to ask for help. Just make sure you’re going to the right people (see #2) Make sure you periodically have time to vent and let things out. Cry if you need to. Take a sick day if you need to. Keep the communication open with your supporters. They can’t help you if they don’t know.

5- DONT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!!!

Be yourself. Don’t try to fit into society’s mold of what’s expected. Don’t do things that don’t contribute to your wellbeing or happiness. Continue to be gentle with yourself. Understand that you can’t always be perfect. Accept that you are the only version of you there is and don’t try to be someone else.

I hope this helps someone who reads this. It helped me to write it! Stay strong out there my friends ❤️