Why we give up on our goals and how to get back on track

Making real lifestyle changes is hard – but not impossible. Most people who set a goal or resolution fail on their first try, and quit right then and there. In fact, most people fail to stick with a goal after one month (60%), and even less make it to the 3-month mark (80%). Not surprisingly, as we near the end of January we start to face setbacks. But research has proven that relapse is a normal part of the change process.

The Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change is used to identify the number of stages that people typically go through as they try to make a change. While there are many theories of behaviour change, this is one of the most widely accepted theories. According to this model, there are six stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and relapse.

6 stages of behaviour change

Keep in mind you’ll likely waver back and forth between stages throughout your journey. The shift back and forth may be caused by internal (i.e., changes in confidence) and external (i.e., commitments to family, work) factors, but there are different support mechanisms to help you ‘muscle through’ to the next stage. We’ll dive deeper into these stages in a later post…

No matter where you are in your journey, we’re here to help!

If you’re ready to get started (or looking to get back on track), check out our program.

Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

  1. Select the behaviour(s) you want to change
    • To help you find focus, we explored motivation and offered ways to help you find and stay true to those motivations.
    • Next, we showed you how to make a good goal even better, with the help of a handy worksheet, and walked you through the basics of SMART goal-setting. At this point, you’ve got an action plan and are ready to move.
  2. Identify barriers associated with the selected behaviour(s)
    • We asked you to write down obstacles that could possibly get in the way of you achieving your goal. Being realistic is important.
  3. Design a strategy to help you address these barriers
    • We offered our two best suggestions to help you tackle any obstacle in your way. By being aware of obstacles before they happen, you can arm yourself with strategies to overcome them.
  4. Pilot, or give it a try!
    • If you haven’t done so already—we hope you’ve put your action plan into action. What worked? What didn’t?
  5. Evaluate and refine
    • Lastly, a huge part of making it through the “relapse” stage is to measure and maintain your behaviour. How do you do this? By tracking your actions! Use this sheet to monitor your progress.

Change is hard, but it’s not impossible.

If you haven't already--sign up for Get Started today for more motivation to get and stay active in 2018. We're here to help you move from the "I won't do it" stage to "Yes, I did it!"

Behaviour Change Illustration