Having an insight into the psychology of the cycle of change makes you understand why you absolutely have to have a compelling reason why you want to change, if you want to succeed.

Let’s take weight loss as an example, although this could easily be about stopping smoking or reducing drinking.

The Cycle of Change

cycle of change

The Honeymoon Period

The first part in the cycle of change is often referred to the honeymoon period. This could be when you’re at the beginning of a new diet.

You’re optimistic, you’re looking forward to losing loads of weight. The novelty might even make it seem fun at first! At this stage you haven’t fully appreciated the cost involved of change.

This stage doesn’t last long! As soon as the reality of change hits, you move onto the next bit of the cycle.

Pessimism

Negative feelings start to creep in here. The benefits you imagined before seem a long way off, they might not even seem real, and you feel like you may have been kidding yourself that you could change.

The costs, i.e. sticking to a diet and exercising, are becoming apparent, and it feels really hard. It’s certainly not fun. You ask yourself “is this worth it?”, and look for reasons to stop.

Once you slip down to the bottom of the cycle there’s a real risk of giving up, after all – you can end the discomfort of dieting right now by stopping it and going back to normal.

The only thing that will get you out of this is… your reason why, your goal. Why did you start on this path in the first place?

Optimism

For those who have a big enough reason why to keep going, they start coming back up out of the negativity. Chances of success are quite high, but it’s not a done deal yet.

Your mood is getting better, you’re seeing and feeling the benefits of the changes you’ve been making. The costs of change feel less, because they are becoming habit – just things that you do, it’s no big deal any more.

The key here is not to stop, because the new habits aren’t cemented yet.

Success

The last part of the cycle of change is success!

You’ve made it, you’re fully experiencing the benefits – you’ve lost weight, and the costs of doing so are now minimal because your changes have become habit now.

The Key to A Successful Cycle of Change

The absolute key to successful change is having an important reason why.

I see people every day in my GP work who say they want to lose weight. An educated guess would say 1 in 25 will succeed, and I usually spot the ones who go onto doing well by asking them to answer one question:

Why do you want to lose weight?

“I want to be slimmer” The person with this answer is going to fail.

Compare that reason why to this one:

“I have walked to the top of Snowden and am feeling great! I imagine reaching the top and my wife giving me a high 5. I feel an immense sense achievement as I breathe in the clean air. I feel really pleased with myself when my wife tells me how proud she is of me.”

The person who answers like this has already taken a massive step towards successful weight loss, because successful weight loss starts in the mind, it start with a goal you’re emotionally connected to. That’s the thing that will get you through the dip on the cycle of change.

If you want to learn how to do this, so you can dramatically increase your chances of success with weight loss come and join us on Uber Slim.

Have a fantastic week!

Dr Julie

PS Get my newsletter to make sure you keep getting great health advice by clicking here.