Where are you on the cycle of change?
Change is challenging at the best of time, and motivation levels can range from a lacklustre ‘I can’t be bothered’ to a fired up ‘I’m determined’.
One popular theory about this from the addictions field is that change is a cycle with 6 different stages. Depending on which stage you are at will determine how successful you will be. Prochaska and DiClemente who came up with this model defined the 6 stages as these:
Pre contemplation – you are not thinking about changing. Call it denial, call it whatever you like, but its not even on your radar.
Contemplation – you start to consider making a change. Maybe you are worried about a problem in your family, job, health etc
Preparation – you decide to take action and start thinking about what that means. Maybe you do some research, seek help, take a course, buy a book. You are getting closer to taking action.
Action – This is where the rubber really hits the road. You take action to make something new happen. You apply for the job, you register for the course, you start the diet, you have the talk with your partner etc
Maintenance – this stage comes later after you have made the change. Now your job is to keep going and not slip back which is a different kind of challenge. Losing weight is exciting for example, but keeping it off is less so.
Relapse – whether you lapse (small) or relapse (big) this is not seen as a failure in the addictions’ field, because most people relapse several times before they finally kick the habit for good. If you do relapse, what it means is you start again on the cycle of change.
So spring forward and plant the seeds today that will bring the changes you want this year.