Did you realize there is something called “stages of change”? It outlines the way we contemplate or begin to change. Most people will stay the same as making change goes against what is familiar and it can often be challenging to make changes.
These are the phases of change:
1. Precontemplation – No substantial intent to change within the next 6 months, if at all.
2. Contemplation –This is when you are a bit more interested in making changes as well as more information. You may possibly be seeking advice or information.
3. Preparation – Taking a more proactive approach, but the change is not yet a habit. In this phase people may have unrealistic expectations and a higher risk of disappointment. There is a high rate of failure at this stage, even if you really do want to make changes.
4. Action – This is when the precontemplation, contemplation and preparation begin to come together. You find yourself making a real effort toward change, but it has likely not been 6 months. Further information and setting realistic goals can help you make it through this phase.
5. Maintenance – Change has been maintained for 6 months or longer. It may still be tempting to return to old habits even though you have made the change for a little while.
Sometimes making a change to your routine in an effort to further your results might be ideal at this point in an effort for you to keep going.
Steps 1 through 5 are considered progress, but it is not uncommon to find yourself in a relapse at any time and end up all the way back at step 1 with precontemplation again. And that is okay. Just make sure you find your way “back up on the horse”.
Where are you in the stages of change?
What would it take for you to make it to the next step?
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