Stages and Change

Dealing with changeHello, this is Amber hoping you are having a wonderful day.  Today I want to take a moment to talk about change.  It is something we dread, desire and even need on occasion, but it is rarely something we enjoy.  A part of that has to do with our conscious feelings. Another part of it has to do with our subconscious behaviors.  The mind is resistant to change as a sort of defense mechanism, which is all well and good until we need to make a positive life change.

So how do we come to the decision to change? How do we overcome the struggle within our own minds? I was wandering the web for that very answer today when I ran across some wise words from  Lesley Lyle, a well-being and happiness specialist. In the following article, she shares the stages a person goes through as they change a habit.  Maybe you’ll even figure out how to overcome your own Blue Monday Blues so that you too can achieve your goals through change.

 

I’ve got bad news for you (but there is good news too!)

Monday 16th January 2017 is known as Blue Monday, a day when a number of factors collide together and the ability to make us miserable. They are

  • the weather (often bad)
  • level of debt (often caused by spending over the Christmas period)
  • the amount of time since Christmas
  • and the fact that statistically most people have lost the initial motivation and optimism they had when they started their New Year’s resolution

By Blue Monday, a large proportion of people will have either given up their New Year’s resolution or be about to. If this is not you, congratulations! You are one of the smaller number of people who will succeed, probably because you are supported and/or have made a realistic and achievable goal.

There is good news!

The good news is that Blue Monday is not inevitable and failure doesn’t mean you have failed permanently.

Research carried out by Prochaska ND DiClemente has shown that people go through several stages before they are able to make a significant change to their behaviour. If you’ve failed, it might mean that you have yet to reach one of the stages which are necessary in order to reach your goal.

Briefly, the stages are:

Precontemplation
You’re not ready to change. You might feel it is pointless and you are unable or unwilling to try.

Contemplation
You’re contemplating a change and getting ready but you’re not ready to start just yet.

Preparation
You’ve decided to take action and you are making a plan. This might be joining a gym, sorting out your food cupboard – or perhaps planning to visit a hypnotherapist.

Action
You’re ready to start and feel motivated to make a significant change. You will either remain here until the next step or revert back to one of the previous ones.
Maintenance
Once you’ve achieved your goal, you need to maintain some new behaviours to stop you creating the problem you started with. This is an important stage that many successful dieters and get-fit achievers overlook.

So how does this information help you?
The research shows that commonly people move backwards and forwards in these stages. Few people go through them all sequentially.

So, if you’ve given up on your New Year’s Resolution, don’t consider you’ve failed. Instead, see yourself temporarily in a different stage of the change process. Ask yourself, what could I have done differently that might have helped? What will I do differently next time? What resources do I need?

Make sure you have the right plan before you take action.

If you are thinking of seeing a hypnotherapist to help, make sure they understand the principles of the change process to help you work through the steps successfully and most importantly, ensure you have the resources and information to maintain your goal once you’ve achieved it.

Think of failure as feedback. Change your attitude to change and you will find change much easier to accomplish and if at first you don’t succeed…