Hey y'all, my name is Arian and I am a performance coach! If you read my name in your head and wondered whether or not you said it right, you're one of many! I would say there are two versions depending on the phonetic ability you may or may not have to roll your R's. The most common (English) version being (Are-ee-on) and the more difficult (Spanish) version (Arr-ee-yawn). In the end, whichever way you decide to say it is okay with me!
Though I could probably write an entire blog post on the unique name bestowed upon me by my mother and father, I'd love to move on to a more intriguing topic referred to by the title of this post, "which stage are you in?" Now, while that could potentially be applied to any part of your life, I'd ask you to think about what you are trying to change at this very moment. Are you trying to create a new habit? Or get rid of an old habit that isn't serving you right now? You could be wanting to exercise more or drink less but it all starts with identifying your current stage in that change.
Before we explain the stages, I want you to know that whatever behavior or habit you are thinking about doesn't have to be labeled as "bad." Just like life, behaviors don't wake up in the morning and decide to be bad or good, they just are. Your current environment or behavior is meant to keep you as safe as possible till the end of the day, week, month or even year because part of your brain just wants you to SURVIVE! If you're wondering how many stages there are or which one you could be sitting in, then feel free to read on!
The first stage of change would be "precontemplation" which is essentially reduced to not being aware or wanting to change the behavior. Again, let me clarify...THIS STAGE IS COMPLETELY OKAY!
Next, we have "contemplation." This stage is about knowing or being aware, but not being able or ready to take action.
Now we finally arrive at what I would say is the most important stage, "preparation." This is exactly what it sounds like but shouldn't be overlooked! This is where most people either skip or do little to nothing. The easiest way to explain the importance is by referring to Murphy's law. Murphy's Law is a philosophical aphorism that is typically stated as: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". What does this mean? If you aren't prepared for the things that can and will go wrong, you will likely not succeed with your intention to take action. There will be a time or place where your behavior does not align with your goal and that is when it will be hard to continue the momentum after "falling" or taking a step backwards. I would ask you to take the time in "Murphy" proofing your life so that you can come back from a minor setback!
Our next stage is "action!" You may have already guessed that this is all about doing the "work" or putting in the repetitions, and you're right! While it is a process, remember that your prep from the stage prior will be what you depend on when motivation fades and you find yourself drawn towards regression or pause.
Last, but not least..."Maintenance!" Once you've practiced the behavior for some time it does become easier to maintain as your brain creates plastic changes to meet the new demand.
Now that you've read, and probably placed yourself in one of those categories or stages, it's all about making small steps towards the next stage! Again, I can't help but reiterate the importance of the preparation for action as studies show that on average, individuals who attempt to change a behavior go through this process at about seven times before committing or achieving "maintenance."
As much as it may seem daunting, id ask you to find something that is easy and repeatable as you are looking for small wins that eventually lead to a grounded ritual that will last much longer than your motivation for the result.
Good luck and feel free to reach out via email, phone or any other method you see fit!