Changing our habits, whether it's about our health, our job, or simply how to make our lives less complicated, or more structured are common feelings.
Changing habits, large or small follows a distinct pattern.
Psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo Di Clemente developed the idea of a Wheel of Change when studying how people with addictive behaviors made changes to their habits. It became clear whatever their addiction people went through similar stages to change on their own or with help.
Of course not all changes we want or need to make are life-threatening but it's interesting to explore the various stages to decide where on the wheel of change we are.
Pre-contemplation: Ignorance is bliss! you're unaware of the need to change, and you have no desire to do so.
Contemplation: You've decided you need to make some changes or friends or family have mentioned perhaps it's time. Perhaps they consider what you're doing is damaging to your health, or relationships. This stage can take a while because you're not yet fully committed to the idea (yet).
To avoid being completely blocked from moving forward, remind yourself why you want to change, and how the new habit will benefit you.
Preparation: You're thinking about it - reading books, talking to people you think may help, who already have the habit you want to develop. All this will help you decide when you'll be ready to start.
Action: Changes are developing although you need to focus. Keep reminding yourself about the positive feelings your new habit is giving you.
Maintenance: Confidence is growing in your ability to maintain the new regime, even managing to deal with small relapses. This stage can be challenging, it requires commitment. Call on your supporters.
It's human nature. Challenges will present themselves and from time to time you may give in. But be assured once you return to your new habit it will come back faster than the first time. However, remember the 5 stages - remind yourself why you wanted to Change Habits and the benefits it brought to you.
Your ultimate goal is to make this change an automatic action, something requiring no specific thought or choice. Remember, a newly constructed wall is easily knocked down, but the longer it stands the harder it is to push over - just like your new habit. The hypnotherapist who helped me quit smoking told me this.
We've discussed Prochaska and Di Clemente's Wheel of Change - here are the main takeaways:
If you need any help with any of the above or have questions just contact me at Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com
If you're contemplating starting Pilates this might help - https://nualacoombspilates.com/5-reasons-to-do-pilates