Lasting Changes for You, Not the New Year
Forget New Year’s resolutions for 2020! Make a lifelong New You change because you want it NOW, NOT because it’s a new year. Research has found that approximately 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% stick their resolutions. Why do most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions? There are many reasons that resolutions fail, including setting unrealistic goals, the belief that a positive change will make their life better, and the belief that making a resolution will motivate them to make a desired change. However, lots of people have changes they want to make, but they are not necessarily ready to make the change.
At Jesse James Fit and Outlaw FitCamp, we talk about knowing your WHY. If your WHY is not strong enough to motivate you to take action on your desired behavior change, it will not happen. Psychologist Dr. James Prochaska developed a model with stages of change for making behavior changes. This model is one way to evaluate how ready or unready a person is to making a change and likelihood of being successful. The stages and a person’s readiness in each stage is described as follows:
- Precontemplation-Not motivated and not ready for help
- Contemplation- Getting ready to make a change, usually within 6 months. The person is educated on the pros and cons of making the change, but procrastinating and still not motivated enough to begin change
- Preparation- Ready to take action, usually within the month and often have developed a plan of action
- Action-Specific lifestyle modifications have been made over past 6 months and a person intends to continue moving forward with the behavior change
- Maintenance- This new lifestyle behavior is being sustained for at least 6 months with intention to maintain this behavior and avoid relapse
How did this apply to me or my loved one as change is desired? It all comes down to your WHY. Why do you want to be healthier? If your goal is to begin an exercise program, you like the idea of it, but if you do not value the benefits of it enough to make the change, you are in the contemplation stage. You know your health is failing you but you are not convinced it’s worth enough to make a change. You can try to begin an exercise program, but your chances of succeeding are very slim. However, when you are tired of your poor health limiting your enjoyment of life, you REALLY want to make a change. You have just bought into your WHY and the preparation stage begins to start making changes.
Thousands of clients at Jesse James Fit and Outlaw FitCamp began their training because their WHY to be healthier outweighed the poor quality of life they were living. Some clients looked for a place to train (preparation), and then began their training (took action) because they want to look better or have more energy, but many clients have found that the benefits of their training extended far beyond their initial WHY. When clients experience greater outer strength, they find greater inner strength as well. Both of these changes are so powerful that they adopt their workout program as a lifestyle (maintenance).
Therefore, as you approach your health and fitness goals, know WHY you want to make the change before you begin and write them down. When you have a solid WHY, you will set yourself up to make healthy changes that will last far beyond 2018!
Say good-bye to the cliché unsuccessful New Year’s resolution and hello to changes that contribute to a New You for life!