By Katryna Starks
In the last post, Who’s Goal Is It Anyway? (Part 1), I talked about the transtheoretical model of behavior change and its 5 phases: Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. If you have a goal, you are in one of those phases.
This post is about deciding which phase you’re in and how important that is to you. In the intro to the last article, I talked about people who would say you’re “making excuses” for why you aren’t eating healthfully, exercising, or committing to losing weight. There is a big problem with the “no excuses” mentality. You’re the only one who can tell yourself it’s an excuse. No one else has the right to say that to you.
An excuse implies two things: 1) That you are accountable to someone else’s goal for you and 2) That you owe someone else an explanation for why you aren’t reaching it.
Now, there are times when we do need accountability and social support for reaching our goals and we may put people in the position of authority, such as friends, coaches, personal trainers, etc. However, there are many people who are full of advice, and full of themselves, who take it upon themselves to subordinate you to their goal just because you may have stated your goal out loud.
Although these people are often well-meaning, they can derail you. Why? If you aren’t taking care of your health, the deeper issue is that you don’t have the autonomy to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority. Having self-appointed others in your life take over this function for you does not help you understand your importance to yourself!
In order to make successful changes, you need to understand that you are worth it. You need to stand on that and to hold your ground. You also need to understand that you are completely responsible for making your own choices and setting your own priorities – and better health may not be one of them. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever change, but you may have a different set of priorities right now. You may have a new baby or a new job, or just don’t have the time or effort to change right now. If you keep thinking about it and working it out in your mind, you’ll see the areas in which you can open up and make some small changes. Small changes lead to good habits. Good habits lead to good lifestyles. A lifestyle change is merely a series of small actions that are activated one at a time.
So, who’s goal is it anyway? It’s yours. And you’ll do it when you’re ready.