Stages of Change

Have you ever made a resolution and then lost the motivation to continue doing something about it?

What happened to that initial determination that got you going?

You might have been inspired by making a resolution or perhaps you had a major wake up call or life change that got you going. For others, it simply felt like the time to take charge or you were inspired by a friends, family, a contest, a doctor or even a marketing campaign that pushed you to take action. But after a while, initial enthusiasm or the motivation of fear disappears, the realities of life take hold...and you give up.


Any permanent change takes time and will have challenges. If there are specific issues and life patterns that challenge you, then these must be put in a new perspective in order to achieve on going success. Remove these burdens and roadblocks and you will become lighter mentally and physically.

Here's a step by step guide for understanding the stages of change: Where do you fit in?

Stage 1 – Not ready to change – not interested at all If you do not see the problem, you will not do anything about it. (For those in this stage, they may have very frustrated loved ones.)

Stage 2 – Considering change - You make attempts to change habits, nutrition and exercise but do not feel committed, and are unsuccessful.

Stage 3 – Generating power - motivation, desire & determination - You really want to change, use problem solving techniques, make a commitment contract and announce your goals.

Stage 4 – Preparation and plans - gathering information, making adjustments, breaking your goal into small steps and determine good ways to recognize achievements.

Stage 5 – Making time line decisions and goals. You have the motivation and are ready to change.

Stage 6 – Application - YOU DO IT!

Stage 7 – Maintaining progress - Monitor your mood and mindset. Re-organize your lifestyle. What is or is not working? Recognize and replace habits that don't serve your new goals and lifestyle with better ones. Find new perspective on your life.

(Habit replacement is critical and a key to lasting change)

Stage 8 – Relapses – how to get control - Look out for irrational thinking and situations or people that challenge your progress.  Learn to plan relapse breaking, prevention strategies. Ask for help.

General points about changing your life:

There are a lot of mistakes to be made. No one makes major changes without getting off course and needing to make adjustments. It is not the end of the world to fail but it is important to keep at it and try again, if you really desire to change.

Ultimately, you will feel physically and mentally better if you attempt to change because you have a sense of being in charge, making you a happier and more in control person. What do you want? Why?

Think of any permanent change in habits as a journey. Before you start it is a good idea to do some research and get a feel for the trip. How can you prepare? What will you need? What outcome do you desire?   Are you open to an adventure?  What are your strengths and weaknesses that you need recognize to avoid trouble on the journey? What do you fear?  What old wounds, experiences or messages might stop you and need to be accounted for? What is your reward for moving forward? What is the result if you don't go on the journey?

As you set your course, you need be aware of three challenges that have nothing to do with the actual change you want to make.

1. Be willing to get to know yourself well.

2. Be open to recognizing and expressing your feelings.

3. Take time to acknowledge and respect yourself as a person, even if you do not currently like how you think, look, act, or some other trait or habit.


The past is over, so it has no power now. The thoughts of this moment create my future.—LOUISE HAY

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