Goal Setting Lifestyle Mindset

Stuck with a Body You Don’t Like? Embrace These Strategies for Change

Written by Kris Fondran

Did you know that approximately 35% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January?

So, how are YOU doing as April draws near?

I hope you’re still going strong with your resolutions. If not, you’re definitely not alone. But it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of company if you’re at a place you don’t want to be, does it? If your resolutions fell to the side, what’s your excuse?

  • Not enough time
  • Too stressed
  • Habit too hard to break
  • Too many hurdles to get over
  • Low or no motivation

Those are some of the most common resolution breakers. But take heart. Failure is actually part of the stages of successful and permanent change.

Stages of Change

In fact, according to research done in the 1980’s by Dr. J. Prochaska and Dr. C. DiClemente, even those with the best of intentions fail to change because they aren’t ready to take action.

The two doctors created the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change—also called “Stages of Change Model”—which proposes a series of stages leading to change.

stages-of-change-model

The fact that you’re reading this on a website called “bodyweightcoach.com” makes it safe to say that, at a minimum, you’re in the “contemplation” stage of improving your overall health and wellness.

You know there’s a problem. Maybe it’s your health, your job, or your relationship. Regardless of what it is, you haven’t made any plans to change things yet. Face it — you just weren’t ready before.

But what if you want to be ready?

Start by calling a spade a spade. Change is never easy. If it was, more people would be healthy and happy. And if you look around, that is clearly not the case.

So start by re-evaluating YOUR behavior(s). Ask yourself a few questions. What is it about your life that isn’t working for you? What does a happy and healthy life look like for you? What things are keeping you from changing?

It is common to find reasons why you are unable to change, barriers it seems like you won’t get past. But if you’re serious about making a change in your life, then you have to find a way around, or in some case directly through, these barriers!

Common Barriers

Let’s look at a few of the most common challenges you’ll face and some strategies for overcoming them.

If you’re thinking: “I don’t have enough time.”

Try this: Chart all of your activities from start to finish for a 24-hour period. At the end of the day, take a close look at exactly how you spend your time. What is your highest priority? What can you get rid of? Starting tomorrow, schedule some time for you to make a healthy change. Even if you start with something as simple as 30 seconds of squats when you walk in your door after work or during commercials, those small moments add up.

If you’re thinking: “I’m too stressed out.”

Try this: Take out pen and paper and make three columns. In the first, list all the things in your life that are “stressing you out.” In the second, list the things you can avoid. In the last column, list the unavoidable stressors.

Then, avoid the stress that you can. To help with the stress you can’t avoid, find a couple things you enjoy that will assist in reducing your stress. Add those things to your daily routine. Maybe it’s singing in the car on the way to work or maybe it’s as simple as thinking about someone or somewhere you love. Sometimes just giving your mind a break from focusing on the stress lets you relax.

If you’re thinking: “I don’t think that I can do it.”

Try this: Not doing something before doesn’t stop you from doing it now nor mean you can’t ever do it. You just need to build your confidence. Whatever it is that you want to do, start small. Break the task into small pieces, and celebrate each success along the way.

Successful Strategies

Once you know the factors that influence your behaviors, you can figure out what actions you need to take. There are many ways to go about change, but below are a few of the common strategies.

Shaping

Even the most motivated individuals find that some behaviors don’t immediately change. You may need to take individual steps or progressions toward your ultimate goal—shave away at old habits and build new ones until you succeed.

Example: If your diet is a wreck, start by adding a cup of veggies to lunch or dinner or eating at home at least one night a week. Work your way to healthy eating from there, one step at a time.

Visualization

Your mind is a powerful tool. What you think about yourself often expresses in your actions. So why not use the power of your mind to create the outcome of our desired goals?

Many athletes and performers use a technique called “imagined rehearsal” to lead them to their goal. Visualize or imagine yourself performing the skills you need to successfully reach your goal. The more you do this, the more prepared you’ll be at “show time.”

Example: Imagine yourself getting up and working out even when you don’t want to. When the “I don’t want to get out of bed” moment comes, you’ll have rehearsed getting up and working out anyway.

Modeling

Modeling is learning a behavior by watching other people who already do it well. This can be one of the most effective strategies for change. Seek out situations that put you in contact with people that are already doing what you hope to do. Look closely at what steps these people take to achieve the behavior(s) that you desire. Once you see them, you can then model the same steps in your own life.

Example: If you’ve changed the types of foods to healthier options but still aren’t losing weight, check out the quantities and ratios of a healthy friend or co-worker. You might be eating too little or too much, you might be eating too much fruit and not enough meat, etc.

Taking Charge

If permanent change has stayed just out of reach in the past, now you have some insight into why. To succeed, you need a plan and a strategy for change.

Use some of the suggestions above and some of the resources available on this website to move toward a happier and healthier you.

Take charge of change by taking that first step today.

If you want some beginner help with exercise, check out this free entry level bodyweight workout.

If it’s diet help you want, check out Nate Miyaki’s “Feast Hacking” blog.

Are you ready to revitalize your life? And do you want your sexy body back? Visit Kris Fondran’s ShapeShifter Yoga!

References

  1. Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC, Norcross JC (1982). In search of how people change. Applications to addictive behaviours. American Psychology 47:1102.
  2. Watson, D.L.and Tharp R.G (2007) Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment. 9th ed.
  3. Donatelle, R.J. (2010) Access to Health: Green Edition. Benjamin Cummings

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Kris Fondran

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