What Goes into Changing?
Considering change does not mean you are committed to change. There are a lot of steps between recognizing an undesired behavior and stopping the undesired behavior. Let’s look at the steps.
There are five stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.
Precontemplation- people are not thinking about change in this stage. If you bring it up, they are quick to defend their behaviors. An example of this is when smokers respond with “I will have to die with something” when faced with the consequences of smoking.
Contemplation- people in this stage are thinking of changing and are able to recognize the benefits of changing. An example of this is when a smoker begins to talk about the consequences of smoking and recognize the benefits to quitting smoking.
Preparation- people in this stage are acting on their desire to change. They have set a date to start or even considered the steps it takes stop the behavior. Goal setting is done in this stage. An example of this is a smoker who has set a date to begin decreasing or stopping smoking.
Action – people in this stage are acting on their desire to change and making progress towards changing through achieving the steps established in the preparation stage. An example of this is the smoker setting and keeping to goal of smoking 10 cigarettes a day, a decrease from their 15 or more cigarettes a day. It is not uncommon for people to try several different ways to reach their goal. It is common for people to go back and forward between the preparation and action stages.
Maintenance- people in this stage have achieved their goal and they are keeping it up. An example of this is a smoker who has been without a cigarette for an extended period of time.
There are many steps between considering change and committing to change. Whatever stage you are, take advantage of the motivation that comes with it.
When you get to the point where you are sharing your story about changing, all that matters is that you were able to maintain change not how many times it took to get there.
As always, Many Blessings, Much Hope, More Love…………….