Change: Part 2

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(…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.