Six Steps That Can Change Your Life
Stage 4: Action
Now it's time to "just do it."
Strategy: Put Your Plan in Motion
- Make your environment conducive to exercise. Leave notes reminding yourself to work out, for instance, and have your clothes ready ahead of time.
- Reward yourself for sticking to your plan.
- Think long-term. You're forming a lifelong habit here. No need to fret about a missed day; you have the next 50 years to make it up.
Stage 5: Maintenance
You've been exercising regularly for six months, and you've realized you can do it.
Strategy: Work Out the Kinks
- Create a mental image of yourself exercising and think of it often. This "exercise identity" will help the habit stick.
- Learn from your mistakes, and figure out how to avoid them next time.
- Watch for the benefits to happen -- less huffing and puffing, more energy -- and relish them.
Stage 6: Termination
You've done it! You've terminated your sedentary habits and replaced them with healthy ones. It's the end of the inactive you.
Strategy: Pat yourself on the back!
Christie Aschwanden is a freelance science writer in Nederland, Colo. Her work has appeared in Health, Modern Drug Discovery, and other publications.