We all want to get healthy, right?
But, you know, sometimes life can get in the way of us reaching our health goals
and we can get off track
and go back to our regular old habits
and then kick ourselves in the pants for failing, yet again.
But with knowledge and understanding of the six stages of mastery, what we can do is quickly identify:
- which stage we are in,
- what we are doing wrong,
- and what we need to do to rectify or remedy the situation.
Developing this self-awareness of your transition through these six stages of health mastery
- can empower you with the knowledge of your transition.
- It can alleviate any stress or worry or anxiety associated with quitting too early or slow progress,
- and, of course can help you to reach your health goals.
It sounds pretty good, right?
So let’s get stuck into a step-by-step guide to the six stages of Health mastery.
Now, the best way to do this is to use an example, and I think what I’ll use today is the example of packing your lunch every day when you go to work.
So it’s a really, simple thing that you want to do, but sometimes the simplest things are the hardest, right?
Using this example, we say that, okay, you look at yourself and you say, I’m spending too much money, buying takeaway food at lunchtime, the nutritional content of what I’m purchasing isn’t ideal. It’s too high fat, or, too many carbs or, I’m simply eating too much.
And then the third thing is, you know, it creates that stress of having to hunt for food on my lunch breaks. So it uses up, a bit of extra time as well.
Stage One: The Intention
The first stage of health mastery is having an intention. So in this situation, the intention is to alleviate the stress of having to hunt for food and, manage your budget a lot better. And obviously, if you look after your nutritional needs yourself, you’ve got more control if you’re packing your own lunch.
Stage Two: The Action and Behaviour
The next stage of health mastery is: action. So in making this intention, then you start with an action, which is of course, you know, getting the right size lunch box, and you start packing up your lunches, whether it’s leftovers or you’re creating something entirely new.
It’s a behaviour that you need to indulge in to help reach your health goal, and it’s the repetition of that behaviour or the repetition of that action that takes you into stage three, which is the habit.
Stage Three: The Habit
Now, depending on what you’re reading or what you’ve heard, you know, a habit, they say it’s, you know, two weeks or 21 days, or 28 days or six weeks or whatever it is, but the habit is determined by or was created with that repetition of action or behaviour. So, we say that we’ve started to establish a habit at let’s say, between two and six weeks.
So that’s where you are at in the stage of your health mastery. And, for a lot of us, this is where we become unstuck. We get to the point where, in this example, you get a bit bored with packing your lunch or, you need some more variety or it becomes a bit of a mundane chore. And it’s not until you reach that frustration stage that you step into the next stage.
Stage Four: The Practice
Now, a lot of people don’t reach the next stage, which is: practice.
It is the practice of the behaviour and the practice of the habit. So it’s developing new techniques and refining your habit or the skill that you’re indulging in.
So say for example, if you’re getting bored with your lunches, you can do all sorts of different things. Say for example, you might have a theme each week where you might have Mexican one week and then Thai food the next week, or you might change it up so that you have hot meals and cold meals, or you might have leftovers for a period of time.
So in this practice stage, you are changing up the habits so that you can adapt to this behaviour, to whatever’s happening in your environment, or
you can adapt it so that it becomes more of a second nature, which is the next stage of health mastery is where this practice becomes more of, a second nature.
Stage Five: It Becomes Second Nature
So it becomes just something that you do.
And you know, during, at this stage, it is maybe six months from when you started with the intention, it would be six months down the track of having the action or the behaviour or including that, then doing that habitually and then practising it.
And it’s a good six months in, and you are still, at that stage where you could go back to your old habits.
But it is the practice and the repetition and, learning how to refine the technique that you are using that takes you through to the, “it’s just something that I do” stage, which is stage five.
Stage Six: It’s Who You Are
And then it is not until you’ve been doing this thing, so you’ve been packing your lunch for a long period of time, that you get to the point where it’s no longer just something that you do.
It is part of who you are, and that’s stage six of health mastery. So in, in this example, you’d get to the point where it’s no longer something that you need to think about. It’s no longer a habit because a habit is a repeated action or behaviour.
It is just part of who you are.
And it’s almost like it’s part of your identity.
You pack your lunch every day when you go to work, because that’s you, that’s who you are.
So that’s the sixth stage. And to be honest with you, to reach that sixth stage, it’s usually about two years or maybe even longer, maybe three years down the track where you have reached the mastery of that particular task.
The Six Stages of Health Mastery in Real Life
So we can apply this sequence to a lot of things that we are learning. So if you’re learning a new skill, or if you’re going to the gym, even if you are doing something as simple as just trying to drink more water each day, it takes some time to get to the point where you have mastered this skill or this task.
So with this knowledge and understanding, you can say, okay, after six weeks I haven’t mastered this task of packing my lunch or going to the gym or drinking water regularly. I need to do this, repeat it more, learn how to troubleshoot, how to incorporate it into my life, on a regular and day-to-day basis before I can say, okay, I have mastered this and it is part of my identity.
I’d like to hear what kinds of tasks you have or things, health things that you’ve mastered in the past or what you want to master in the future.
I’d like to hear about the kinds of health goals that you have mastered in the past and also what kinds of things you would like to master in the future. What kinds of obstacles have you overcome, or what kinds of obstacles are you currently facing with the health goals that you’re working on?