(…continued from Change: Part 1)
I prepared by being curious as to what type of exercise I would enjoy and that would fit easily into my life. I also different types of exercise out for the sole purpose of being curious not for a goal of doing it 3-4 times a week. I prepared by allowing myself to create and explore what when, where and how would be right for me and not was right for others etc.
I also prepared by mentally revisiting positive aspects that exercise could bring into my life. I removed guilt, pressure and comparison. I was now prepared and ready to act. So, on the Readiness for Change scale I had moved from contemplation to preparation and now I was ready for action.
As, I moved into action I started with a small reasonable goal of being active 2-3 times a week no matter what that was for 60% of the year. The next year I moved into 3-4 times a week of cardio. As the days and years passed, notice I said years so patience, exercise became an important, enjoyable part of my life. In action, I always allowed myself to revise and I really did away with an all or nothing mentality which usually incurred guilt and shame and we know that does not sustain change.
My formula was act / revise, act / revise, small changes over time. Now, I have made running a part of my life 4-5 times a week for 35-45 minutes 90% of the year. I allow myself the room to know I will lapse in my goal thus the 90%. My lapse time has moved from 60% to 90%.
I remind myself it is not all or nothing and I pick it back up. Readiness for Change covers action, maintenance and termination. The key to these stages is to be kind when the new goal lapses a bit, do not buy into all or nothing and look back and see how much you have changed.