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The 3 Stages of Habit Change

Aug 1, 2022

kettlebell swings
  1. A glimmer of hope. You decide that you are cutting out carbs, or starting a new business. Excitement fills your chest. You forget about any previous successes or failures as your mind immediately starts churning, putting its infinite creativity to work in planning and picturing what this is going to look like. 

This moment might strike you when you see an ad that catches your attention, or while talking to a friend. For many of my clients, this happens during their No Sweat Intro, when I encourage them to paint a detailed picture of success and how it is going to feel.

This first stage, while helpful to get the ball rolling, is the least important in determining if you will actually achieve your goal. In order to succeed you must take action.

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2. Changing behaviors. If you have a big goal, say you want to lose 20 kg, it is tempting to think that extreme steps are the way to go. You hire someone to put you on a starvation diet or go on one yourself. While you may be able to brutalize your body into submission for the short term, this approach is guaranteed to backfire because it flies in the face of your nature as a living organism and tramples on your basic dignity and freedom. 

The secret to behavior change lies in small but consistent habits. You meet a friend for CrossFit every Monday and Thursday at 6. You prepare food for the next day every night before going to bed except Saturday. 

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3. Changing beliefs. I smoked for 15 years despite hating it and hundreds of attempts to quit. Then I read Alan Carr’s excellent book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” and I quit instantly and never looked back. The reason is I changed my beliefs about what smoking was doing for me. My narrative changed. 

If you believe that you are fat and bad, then you must slowly but consistently prove to yourself that you are in fact a healthy fit exerciser. You do this by starting with stage 2, which is action, and you will naturally hit a tipping point when you wake up one day and, lo and behold, your favorite shirt fits again. You have successfully changed who you ARE!

This happens to be my favorite subject, and I could talk about it for hours, but then I would be guilty of skipping stage 2. 

If you are struggling with one of the stages of Habit Change, or even on no stage at all but are considering a possible change, please book a meeting with me here. 

 

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