Last week I was caught up in the process of the renewal of my Personal Trainer Certification with the American Council of Exercise (ACE). As I explained, it is a process which involves taking various courses and passing the tests associated with those courses to gain continuing education credits or CECs. They aren’t tremendously difficlicult once you have pssaed the initial certification process. Recertificatiion does help to. establish that you have taken enough courses and credits that the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) considers you competentent enough to maintain your certification. My certification is with ACE or the American Council of Exercise. It considered the Gold Standard in personal training certifications, However, there are some succinct differences depending on what areas you wish to practice. There are over 300 various presonal trainer certications available in the U.S. Only 9 of these are accredited by the NCCA. I have been licensed with ACE for over 6 years, but like almost everything else in my life, I waited until the last minute to finish my recertification and spent several days and nights completing 16 courses and tests in 2 days in which I had two years to accomplish. The tests ensure that trainers have maintained a high degree of efficacy and competence to maintain a certification which stands above others in a relatively unregulated industry. As I scrambeld to complete my CECs, I tried to take courses which were within my scope of practice and which I had familiarity.
Several of the courses to obtain CECs dealt with the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. A theoretical psychological model which helps to explain the various psychological stages which occur in the process of making behavioral changes in people. This model can be applied to numerous fields in which people consciuosly make an attempt to produce an effect on their own behavior. The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM which from here I shall refer to this model) can be applied to numerous behavioral changes that everybody realizes at some point in their life. It can relate to such things as dieting, quitting smoking, furthering an education, deciding to drive a car, changing careers, changing religions, adopting an exercise program, getting married, changing sleep patterns, spending more time with your family, quitting or moderating alcohol use, drugs or other behavior patterns usually considered to be “bad habits” which many people often try to change. Often the choice to make rather significant changes occurs rather unconsciously. It is usually based upon weighing the outcomes of the desired change. For example, moving on from elementary school to middle school and then from middle school to high school usually requires pretty dramatic behavioral changes for most people, but we usally don’t have much choice at these levels. However, some people decide to make a conscious decision to drop out of school to work…. or just “hang out and party” because they don’t feel that school and the benefits of contuing their education are worth the time, effort, energy, aggravation or discipline. This is an extreme example, but if it is diagnostically studied further it can be broken down into the TTM stages of change. As a working model of change, TTM is more readily apparent in giving up or changing an acquired pattern of behavior that has become engrained into a persons lifestyle. That’s when it becomes more than just a “bad habit”. When a habit becomes part of a lifestyle which has proven negative consequences for that person and for those around them. I’ve always been interested in this part of TTM. It blends psychology which can be very subjective with a quantitative model to assess patterns of behavior and gauges the progression of behavioral changes. I was intriqued by TTM because the subjective and quantitative analysis of behavioral change actually merged to form a viable and practical application to assess and help manifest the desired change. In my opinion… this is where the rubber hits the road between psychology (which can be very sujective) and actual results (which are highly quantifiable). I have always wanted to really wrap my hands around this because I had a plethora of my own behavioral patterns which I wished to chang (Such as rocrastination..More on that in another Blog! LOL). I’m sure we all have patterns of behavior we would like to change. Sometimes we just decide the headaches of change just aren’t worth the discomfort. Most change involve a certain level of discomfort. Even think about can be uncomfortable.
TTM systemically breaks the model of change down into 6 stages as follows: 1) Precontemplation 2) Contemplation 3) Preaparation 4) Action 5) Maintenance 6) Termination or Relapse…some behavioral psychologists argue that the 6th stage isn’t a valid stage. We’ll save that for a later discussion
The 6 stages of change occur for most people in a nonlinear progression. People can actually be stuck in 2 or 3 stages of change for a longhttps://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156241403573547&id=652933546&set=a.373363983546 period of time, often simultaneously, but they quickly pass through onto the next stage after they have adopted and accepted the fact that a change is truly needed. Developing a degree of efficacy along the change model continuum can be a big boost. A person who couldn’t jog around the block can become very inspired when they actually complete a mile and they become determined to run a 5k and then a 10k…eventually, perhaps a marathon
The patterns of change occur at different times for people. In upcoming blogs I will discuss the different stages and the obstacles which can occur at each stage of change. In addition to the 6 stages of changes…there are at least another 33 distinct processes which occur at various stages of change. Thats a lot of information to process at one time. I’m glad I decided to this in a series of blogs.
I will go into further detail on the stages of change, the processes involved in making behavioral changes so that we can reflect upon where we are on this model as it pertains to the behavioral changes we would like to make. Thanks for reading…..Good luck with everything you do!!!😱😱😱👍👍👍👌👌👌👀👀👀🍽🍽🍽🥕🥕🥕🥑🥑🥑🏋️♂️🏋️♀️⛹️♀️🤸♂️🤸♀️⛹️♂️🏊♀️🏄♀️⚽️🏀⚾️🏈