The Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change: What is it and Where areyou at on your Fitness Journey?
In order to see a change in ourselves, we have to change our behaviour. Many of us
know this, but it’s especially important to think about what kind of changes you’re
willing to make in order to become a healthier, fitter you.
One of the ways personal trainers figure this out is by turning to the
Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change, AKA the Stages of Change Model.
That’s a mouthful, but what does it mean? Essentially, we are all at some stage on
our fitness journey and based on that stage, we train you differently. A person who
hasn’t stepped foot in a gym in ten years wouldn’t be given the same workout as
someone who goes to the gym regularly. As trainers, this helps us guide you on your
journey and get you to the next stage.
So, where are you at? Let’s find out:
Stage 1: Precontemplation
Everyone knows someone at this stage; you started here, too! They aren’t thinking
about starting to exercise and they likely don’t see the need to make any lifestyle
changes. Instead of focusing on how hard it can be to make changes, it’s important to
ask this question: “If I make this change and be active, what would my life be like?”
If you’re at this stage right now, maybe this means having more energy to play with
your kids; running that half-marathon; or enjoying the outdoors more. Whatever it
is, the advantages of a healthy lifestyle always outweigh the consequences of
sticking to your old habits.
Stage 2: Contemplation
You’re thinking about changing your behaviour, but you’re not quite ready yet. You
know going for that walk and having carrots is better than your normal unhealthy
routine, but change can be scary. We all need that extra push to get over the bumps
on the road.
Think about this: what kind of person will I be if I make these changes? Write down
these advantages. Put them up where you can see them. Remind yourself that you
can become this person with one healthy choice at a time.
Stage 3: Preparation
You’re ready. You’ve signed up for a workout program, the healthy groceries are in
the fridge, and you told your mom. At this stage, it’s important you have your
friends’ and family’s support. Instead of going to a movie, maybe they join you on a
walk around the lake. Perhaps they leave dessert off the menu.
There will be challenges along the way, but keep this in mind: the better prepared
you are, the less likely you are to turn to bad habits.
Stage 4: Action
It’s been over a month since you started working out and eating healthier. You’re
still sore after exercising, but every workout gets a little easier. Meal prepping is
becoming the norm, but some days are a struggle.
At this stage, you need to keep working hard to avoid slip-ups and stay on track. As
trainers, we’ll check in with you often and discuss your goals. Are we getting closer
to them? What can we do to make sure when the weekend rolls around, we don’t
lose control? You’ve come so far already; we want to keep that momentum going!
Stage 5: Maintenance
This is the “final” stage in our model, but if you’re at this stage, you know
maintaining your healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process.
When you reach this stage, it’s a good time to look at and revise your goals and
exercise program. What can we adjust to really challenge you? What are some new
fitness goals we can set, now that you’ve crushed the others?
It’s important to have a good support system, not just your family but people on a
similar fitness journey. At LMF, we’re blessed with wonderful clients who encourage
each other, no matter what stage you’re at. Finding a community like this is
Now that you know the stages, where are you at on your journey? Where do you
want to see yourself in a month, six months, a year? And what are you willing to
change to get there?