Greetings my MAD COOL FITNESS CREW and Happy Monday!
It’s been a minute since my last post. I’ve been knee-deep in executing my own New Year’s Resolutions – addressing some health issues so I can be as strong as possible in 2017, working on my non-MAD COOL work in the TV biz, doing background research for my dissertation, and yes I did start running with a track club.
The term “running with” is a little inaccurate, more like “running behind” a bunch of 18 and 20 year-old dudes…”here comes Miss Jane Pittman bringing up the rear”…but hey, you gotta get started somewhere!
In addition to dealing with my own stuff, I also wanted to give you guys some time to see how your New Year’s Resolutions played out with no coaching, to see what your “natural” behavioral patterns would be.
We are 6 weeks into 2017. How are those New Year’s Resolutions going?
SOME OF YOU MAY NOT READ THIS ENTIRE POST SO HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE: TAKE THIS QUIZ AND FIND OUT HOW READY YOU ARE TO CHANGE
YOUR READINESS AND INTENTION TO CHANGE IMPACTS YOUR ABILITY TO CHANGE AND SUSTAIN THAT CHANGE!
FOR THE REST OF YOU, IF YOU FIND MY WRITING RIVETING KEEP READING!
At this point in the year you’ve “test driven your resolutions” and seen how you are able to execute on them under real-life conditions.
Example Resolution: “Exercise more and lose weight”.
At the time you stated this, you probably meant it and still do. However, life got in the way:
Work was cray cray so you were able to make a couple of times to that 6pm spin class but then it all went to hell after a few sessions;
Your kid got sick so you had to stay home with them and figure out your childcare situation vs making to the gym;
Your partner wasn’t totally on board with this “lose weight thing” and continued to eat Cheesecake Factory right in front of you…really? It was like the food gods were begging you to have just “one taste” of the egg roll sampler followed by that ridiculously rich godiva chocolate cheesecake!!!
The above are all real-life situations that can test your resolve to stick your goals. In these red pill blue pill moments you must decide if you will stay the course, and this decision goes back to:
YEP. I’VE BEEN SAYING IT FOR YEARS AND NOW EVEN OPRAH CREDITS HER WEIGHT LOSS AND MAINTENANCE TO A FOCUS ON INTENTIONS.
DO YOU INTEND TO CHANGE? AND WHAT IS THE STRENGTH OF THAT INTENTION?
Is it conditional, i.e., does your intention hold only under optimal conditions (you can get to the gym every day, your partner actually goes with you, your kid never gets sick, and your boss says, “Never mind about that report that’s due tomorrow, your health is more important, Jane. Get outta here and head to spin class. Happy spinning!”
Like, huh? Reality check.
Or is your intention unconditional, meaning NO MATTER WHAT, COME RAIN, SLEET OR SHINE, LIKE THE US POSTAL SERVICE… YOU WILL SHOW UP IN YOUR LIFE AND DELIVER ON YOUR INTENTION.
For most of us intention is conditional to being somewhere on this continuum. It takes WORK AND CAREFUL THOUGHT to get to the unconditional place on that continuum
Many of you know I’m a doctoral candidate getting my Doctor of Public Health specializing in health education and behavioral science. I’ve spent time learning about the theories about how people change and will use these theories in my dissertation research.
The THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOR has BEHAVIORAL INTENT is a key variable.
Developed by Icek Ajzen, behavioral intent directly impacts behavior; the higher and more steadfast your behavioral intent, the more likely you are to engage in the new behavior. And of course the opposite is true.
Another model on behavior change is The TRANSTHEORETICAL MODEL OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE, which outlines temporal phases of readiness to change.
Here’s some info on this model:
The stages are:
Pre-contemplation – I’m not thinking about changing
Contemplation – thinking about changing but no immediate timeline for change
Preparation – taking specific steps to engage in the change in the next 30 days
Action – Doing the behavior
Maintenance – Have been doing the behavior for at least 6 months
Relapse – You fell off the wagon, ish happens
Underlying these stages is the concept of behavioral intent.
HOW YOU START SOMETHING AFFECTS WHERE YOU END UP!
So the question is: ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE?
Let’s find out, toegehter!
Take this little quiz I created. It’s written in Jennifer/MAD COOL-ese and therefore is not a validated, scientific instrument.
That’s not my intent :-). MY INTENTION is to get you guys to THINK about where you are with respect to change, and maybe laugh a little along the way.
The quiz does not specify diet vs exercise. You may be more ready to change on one vs the other.
Take the quiz and then let’s talk about our results.
DOING THE PREP WORK NOW THROUGH THOUGHT WILL POSITION YOU FOR MORE SUCCESSFUL CHANGE DOWN THE ROAD.
LET’S DO MORE THINKING AND LESS DOING UPFRONT SO WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT TO DO, WHY WE WANT TO DO IT, AND SPEND SOME TIME THINKING HOW WE’RE GONNA COLLECTIVELY (CAN’T LEAVE YOUR CREW!) GET THERE.
Let’s all Resolve to be MAD COOL 2017!!!
Go get ’em.
Jennifer and Your MAD COOL FITNESS CREW
Fitness Activator, Behavior Change Specialist
Doctoral Candidate, Health Education & Behavioral Science
Rutgers School of Public Health