Did you start out the new year with a new plan for a new you? This new plan was going to finally be the answer to all of your problems. All you had to do was follow the plan, yet here we are at the end of October and you are frustrated and struggling with the plan. You are not alone.

Many years ago our family received a membership to the community recreation center as a gift. This was going to be the answer! We were going to go to the rec center as a family and exercise and get healthy. Yes! We headed over the next weekend to get our ID cards made and then never stepped foot back in the facility. Not my husband, not me, or our son (he gets a pass as he was only 4 at the time.)

What happened? I can make a ton of excuses, but it really comes down to a few things, with the first, and most important being: I wasn’t ready. Next, I had no idea what I was doing. I was intimidated by the facility, the equipment, the classes. If I only knew then what I know now about the stages of change. There are five stages of change as described by Prochaska & DiClemente in the Transtheoretical Model


I was somewhere between the preparation and the action stages. *It is important to note that people can enter and exit any stage of the model at any time. Additionally, relapse can occur after reaching the maintenance stage, which is considered stage number 6 in some updated models. I took the action of getting my ID card made, then exited the action stage and didn’t return until years later. 

One of the first things I had to do was to quit beating myself up about something that happened in the past. I had to learn to treat myself the way I treat my family and friends - with love and kindness. I deserve better than the criticism and lies the negative voice in my head was spewing. I re-entered the action stage when I began treating myself with love and kindness. I began exercising because it was good for me, it felt good, and I enjoy it. My body deserves all of the wonderful benefits of exercise and the more I do it, the better I feel. When I miss a workout or two, I don’t feel the same. My body is stiffer and my mood is off. Fortunately, I now know that I am only one workout away from a good mood.