Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Next Logical Step...

When you think back to how you've improved your wellness and lifestyle over the past few years, can you see the pattern of how change occurred?
In wellness coaching, we use the Transtheoretical Model to help people move through the stages of change (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance). Without going into the details about what each of those stages are, I think the concepts behind how a person changes are pretty interesting.

Let's suppose I come to your workplace and suggest a "new" way to increase your vegetable intake. Maybe I offer the ideas of eating vegetable yogurt and adding spinach to your smoothies (sound familiar?!). There will be a group of people who try it enthusiastically. There will be a group who think it might be ok, but they wait to see how others react (or wait till I bring in a taste test). Then there's a group who are not interested, but might be convinced to taste it out of curiosity (and they probably do not go try on their own later). Next is a group who thinks I'm nuts, and last is a group who doesn't care and doesn't even listen to the idea.

So, let's just look at the group who thinks I'm crazy.

They probably have a standard American diet. They probably have a standard level of activity. They aren't ready to change and they're not considering it (precontemplative stage).

Now let's just say they are exposed to the idea again in (possibly) a different way. Let's say other things happen in life that expose them to a desire to be healthier and they see more people doing healthy things. Fast forward a year or two---maybe they're ready to try it now.

The point is, for things you want and don't want to change, the more you think about the healthy actions and see them as acceptable and normal around you, the closer you are to adopting them yourself.

When you've set a goal for something you'd like to accomplish (ex: work out three days a week), if you plan and strategize and try out new things----at some point, the next logical step becomes working out three days a week. AND it doesn't feel dreadful.

So nudge yourself by exposing yourself to the healthy information and ideas, even if you don't agree or are not ready to try it. Leaning toward wellness (passively and actively) is much easier than trying to leap all at once.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nudge? most i think need a push!