Last week, in Stages of Readiness for Change, Part 1, we looked at the first 2 Stages: Precontemplation, Contemplation, and Preparation. This week we continue on with…
“The action stage is the one in which people most overtly modify their behavior and surroundings.” This is the stop-smoking, clean-out-the-cupboard, sign-up-for-boot-camp (and show up) phase. This stage, while seemingly “powerful” for all of its heroic effort (and it is!), requires quite an outlay of time and energy, so it’s important that people have adequate coaching and support. It is the most apparently “busy” stage due to the overt activity, but keep in mind that it’s just one of the essential stages to permanent change.
Start marching to task on bad habit busting. “Oh wee oh-yo ho!”
“Maintenance”. Such a soft-sounding, non-threatening word. However, this is the stage where most are prone to the dreaded relapse. It might be the most delicate stage, in some ways, as failure can demoralize one straight back to stage 1. The classic example here is the person who drops a Justin Bieber amount of poundage, only to regain it after the high of skinniness abates.
In the maintenance stage, you consolidate the gains you made in the action stage and work to prevent relapses. According to the University of Minnesota article, “[t]his stage is a long, ongoing, and critically important process… Successful maintenance requires active alertness.” So folks here need meerkat-like vigilance in protecting their progress.
Actively alert, this little guy isn’t going to let a relapse occur.
I’m going to quote the U. Minn article’s comment on this stage entirely because it sums it right up: “The termination stage is the ultimate goal. Here, your former addiction or problem will no longer present any temptation or threat. You will not need to make any further effort and will exit the cycle of change. However, some experts believe that certain problems cannot be terminated but only kept at bay.” That last part just seems so negative. But, honestly, it can really be true for some habits. Stage 5 may be the lifelong stage for some habits, particularly those earning the label of “addiction”. Ex. I have an eating disorder. Am I actively performing the behaviors I used to many years ago? No. Heck, I hardly even have some of the dysfunctional thoughts I used to. It’s a rare occurrence, if ever at this point. But am I “cured”? No. Like an alcoholic (but not exactly—you can live without alcohol, but not without food—added degree of difficulty, IMO), I will have to be in Stage 5 for a lifetime, most likely, to make sure I don’t destroy my relationship with food, and, therefore, with my body.
Did you recognize yourself in any stages? How about, did you recognize how you may have Stage Fived, or even Terminated, one problem in your life already, but you’re stuck in Stage 2 with something else? If you said yes, I say “Me too!” It’s called being human, and that’s why these Stages of Readiness for Change are considered an across-the-board and necessary cycle for anyone who will facilitate a positive change in their life.
How can Jodiojo.com help you say “Hasta la vista, baby” to some habits you want to shake? If you’re anywhere in Stages 2-5, give us a shout!
Nice pecs. Did you get those at Jodiojo.com?