As a grad student in public health 10 years ago, I had little patience with most of the academic theories we were forced to learn.
I am not an academic by any stretch, so the flow charts and fancy words either bored me or confused me (or both). But there was one theory that I always liked for its simplicity: The Transtheoretical Model, or Stages of Change.
There are 6 stages to health behavior change:
1. Precontemplation: You have no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future.
2. Contemplation: You are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action.
3. Preparation: You intend to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year.
4. Action: You actively modify behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome a problem.
5. Maintenance: You work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action.
6. Termination: You don't even need to be in active maintenance because the healthy behavior is now just what you do. [This one was added later, so sometimes they talk of this only having 5 stages.]
You see why I liked this one the best? It's relatable and not academic-speak.
With exercise, I'm in maintenance.
With eating, I'm go between preparation and action... but usually it's just preparation. ;-)
With flossing, I'm in maintenance.
With sleeping, I'm in termination -- I nearly ALWAYS get my 8 hours of sleep in, no questions asked.
With using sunscreen, I'm in preparation.
Can you identify where you are in your stages of change?