Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ready for Change?

There are a variety of perspective and theories on people's motivation and readiness to change.  One perspective is the Transtheoretical Model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992) which looks at people's ability to make positive behaviour changes (such as positive health choices like healthy eating or exercise).  This model uses 6 stages of change.

Precontemplation -Not ready to make a change
Contemplation - Just beginning to think about change
Prepararion - Getting ready to make a change; engaging in planning and commitment
Action - Making the change, implementing the plan, taking action
Maintenance - Sustaining behaviour change until it is incorporated into lifestyle, maintaining, integrating
Relapse - At times slipping back to previous behaviour

I like this model because it reminds us that change is hard and that we may start to create a healthy behaviour and slip up, but we can get right back on track.  We are all motivated by different factors, both internal and external.  Remember that your motivation may change minute to minute.  Creating a list of goals can help remind you of what you are working towards and keep you motivated.

You may not be aware of what stage you are in, or it is quite possible that you go between stages or are at different stages for different behaviours.  The idea is that different strategies will work at different stages and a Registered Dietitian will be there to provide the support you need to create the change you desire (or are thinking about desiring!) or help you set goals and work towards reaching them.

This is just one model/perspective but it should serve to get you thinking about your readiness to change and what may or may not be motivating you to change.

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching