Once again, my work has been published by NEDIC! (Thank you, God! And thank you to all my readers and supporters who continually provide me with motivation and care!). This post is about the stages of change and how we can use this model to help ourselves (or others) in altering our habits or working towards new goals: http://www.nedic.ca/blog/stages-change
There are five stages, each describing the points at which an individual is thinking or functioning. As the person becomes convinced and prepared to acknowledge the problem and make a plan of action, he or she is able to slowly implement changes. Once the goals have been achieved, the focus is maintaining those changes and preventing reoccurrences.
I love this model because it emphasizes personal readiness. Of course, sometimes, we can't wait until we're ready to make changes (because after all, not many of us are actually ever going to wake up one day and feel fully optimistic about breaking a lifelong habit of ours!). However, the stages of change, in my opinion, can teach us something about the process of making a change: even if you aren't fully ready, sometimes you just need to make a plan. Then, you can make a pros/cons list and see what positives and negatives will occur if you make a change. This way, you can get a better idea of how the change can impact your life and health. Next, you can take baby steps towards the goal.
I went through this with my recovery from anorexia. And you know what? I still go through the stages of change. Even now as I'm recovered, I realize that I need to make decisions that promote my continued health and well-being (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc).
What habit or issue in your life needs change? Can you use the stages of change to help you reach this goal? Remember: this can be about stopping the use of alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs. It can be about controlling your anger or temper. It can even be about eating balanced and delicious meals, getting more physical activity, relaxing and engaging in self-care, etc. The most important thing - the first step - is to contemplate about the change. Only then can you become prepared, take action, and maintain your success. Whatever your goals or changes are, remember to always stay hopeful! You will accomplish your goals - it may take time, patience, effort, and perseverance....but it is possible. Trust me, I've been there and I've done it. Was it always easy? No. But was it worth it? Most definitely.