We’ve all struggled with that one particular goal that is left unmet. For some, the change might be losing weight. For others, it is a bad habit they would like to break. The real question is, why is it so hard to make a change?

Change is difficult!  It is necessary to understand how it works in order for the transformation to happen.  There are certain stages of change that make it possible for the entire process to successfully unfold.

Pre-contemplation 

The first stage of change is pre-contemplation. This is just simply thinking about a behavior with no real inclination of changing it or goal-setting. In this stage, there is no intention of changing anything about a behavior.

Contemplation

The second stage of change is contemplation. In this stage the individual is aware that there might be a problem, but there is no actual commitment to want to change the action behind the behavior. Self-awareness is key in order to move to the next stage of change.

Preparation

The third stage of change is preparation. Personal accountability starts to materialize during this stage. This is when an individual starts to makes plans to change. Intent upon action starts to evolve.

Action

The fourth stage of change is action. Now we are getting somewhere! The action stage is when overt efforts to quit or change a particular behavior are made. Individuals often mentally review their commitment to themselves during this stage while developing a plan to deal with internal and external pressures to “slip up.”

Maintenance

The final stage of change is maintenance.  Maintenance includes being able to avoid temptations to not return to old habits. Individuals in the maintenance stage are continually reformulating rules and habits, while acquiring new skills to avoid relapse.

Knowledge Is Power. Change often takes time and can be a slow process. Knowing the current stage that you are in can assist you in being honest with yourself, and in turn, setting realistic goals. Knowing these stages and locating where you currently are creates more self-awareness and sets you up for a better overall outcome.

For more information on change, or any other issue related to mental health, we are here for you!  Please contact us at 832.421.8714.