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  • Writer's pictureJaydon White

Recognising our Readiness for Change

Do you struggle to stay consistent with your training? Do you find yourself Yo-Yoing in and out of programs, diets and different training styles? Well, maybe you aren't fully ready to change..

Replacing old habits with good ones

We all know how important exercise is for our health. If you didn't know that, then you would have to be on some serious illegal drugs that are tampering with your mind, or you are in complete denial. Either way, some sort of exercise in our life is great for us.

So if we know this, why do some people find it so hard to stick with training?

Well, the hard thing with starting a habit thats good for us sometimes, is that a bad habit is in its way. Like the saying goes, "You can't outwork a bad diet", the same goes for replacing bad habits. In order to consistently practice good habits, we have to remove the bad ones. You can't always 'outwork' them.

It is increasingly difficult to stick with a new habit when old ones are already engrained and performed every day. For every positive or negative emotion you feel in a day, you may have a habit attached to it. This could be like binge eating, smoking or drinking or sitting around binging TV shows.

For every action or time period in the day, you might have a habit attached to that too. With every coffee in the morning you have a biscuit or two or every Thursday you get takeaway for lunch.

Because these bad habits are so tightly engrained and are attached to your emotions, actions and time stamps during your day, then a good habit statistically has no real change to begin with.

In order to remove the bad ones, we have to identify what those bad ones are.

And most importantly, we have to be ready to let those bad ones go. This is where the idea of readiness for change comes.

"To continue to build on a good habit, we first need to identify and replace the bad habit."

The readiness for change

'In order to start and continue a new habit, we have to be ready and willing to let go of the bad ones.'

Read that again.

People want to start exercising and get fitter and get healthier because they know it's good for them or because they want to lose a bit of weight or put on some muscle.

The problem is, they don't want to do that more than the habits that they have in place now and enjoy.

So, they kind of want it - But they don't want it enough to actually change. Their readiness for change is not there.

This doesn't come down to sheer motivation, because motivation fluctuates and changes from day to day.

It does however come down to who the person really wants to be, and whether they are ready to commit to actually becoming the person who is fitter, healthier and looks after themselves.

This is the biggest problem I think individuals face with change, is the actual 'readiness to change'. Once you begin a new habit, you are essentially committing to becoming a different person. You are changing your identity to the person you were before. That is fucking hard to do. You might want to change the way you look or feel, but deep down you're not actually ready to let that identity go of who you are right now.

How do we know if we're ready to change?

Well, you can ask yourself a few questions to see what your honest answers are to yourself.

'Am I actually ready to give up the habits that I am currently doing, in order to start new ones that I set out to do?'

'Do I genuinely want to be someone different and change the way I'm living, or has my motivation to change just come from a reactive nature (sporadic and spontaneous)?'

'Am I willing to commit to a new habit and process for change for at least 3-4 months?'

'Am I willing to pay money for new habits or invest into education about being a healthier person?'

If you answered no to most of these questions, then I would say you aren't ready to truly change, and that's okay. But by knowing this, don't expect to start a new habit or a new exercise program and get the results you're after. Motivation is a finite thing, and it will run out eventually.

If you answered yes to some or most of these questions, then your readiness for change is there. It is a matter of making the commitment to the habits you want to create and seeing them through.

This only works if you are brutally honest with yourself. Some people 'think' they are ready, but when push comes to shove or something happens in their life, they're quick to resort back to the habits that go completely against the person they want to become.

In order to start seeing change, you have to be ready to change who you actually are.

"You cannot expect to see changes if you aren't actually ready to change".

Final words

You don't have to give up every 'bad' habit you have in order to start new ones. However, you need to be willing to replace old ones with new ones and start to ask yourself some questions with honesty about where you are on the readiness for change scale.

The individuals who end up seeing the best results, who reach their goals and who stick things out - are the ones who were truly ready to change. They wanted to 'become' someone different, so they did.

Do you think you're ready to change?

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