Welcome to Week Two of the fitness challenge. I think a healthy and appropriate message for all of us is, simply, “Good work.” No exclamation mark. No parade. Affirmation, I think, is what we are after. We should be acknowledged for what we are doing, but we don’t need too much airtime on that or we could possibly become attached to (and dependent upon) that attention. [Blatant opinion alert] I think it is possible for us to, inadvertently, train people to expect inordinate amounts of praise by heaping inordinate amounts of praise on them when they have accomplished only ordinary things. Recognition should match effort, not exceed it.

I teach a Wellness course these days, and we are currently looking at the concept of behaviour change. There are actually theories which describe and attempt to explain how you can change your behaviour (to become more healthy). The bottom line is that behaviour is, well, behaviour. Even if you are not a pure behaviourist, you would probably agree that behaviours are goal-directed, meaning that we DO things in order to achieve some desired end state. Changing behaviours requires, at some level, a restructuring of goals.

Most people participating in this challenge have moved beyond the Transtheoretical model’s “Preparation” stage (people here are close to taking action) to the “Action” stage (people here have made a change). And that, I say, is AWESOME! It reflects not only behaviour change, but attitude change. Believe it or not, there were many folks last January who were already at the “Contemplation” stage (recognizing the need to change and thinking about it) when this crazy 10,000 Kettlebells idea floated out to them. That [extreme] activity is probably not an appropriate starter activity, so when the “pick your own activity” message landed in their court – it was a great fit.

If I personally have an over-arching fitness or wellness goal, it would be basically to challenge people, wherever they are on the continuum of wellness behaviours, to move toward a life of improved wellness. Even taking one step in that direction is progress, but my hope would be that people who take that one step toward greater wellness would follow it up by taking another, and another… and keep doing it.
So I’m not going to pamper you with excessive praise, but I would acknowledge your effort and thank you for participating. You are demonstrating to yourself that you are learning how to change behaviour.