My dad turns 72 years old today. Yesterday we took him to AT&T and traded in his archaic flip phone for an iPhone. He argued against it for weeks but my oldest, who is 23, is moving to Colorado in 10 days and my mom knows he will enjoy the FaceTime, pictures, and videos from her. My parents also have 8-year old twin grand children that love sending them videos and pictures as well. It is time he traded up and made the CHANGE.
I have blogged about change many times and I will most likely continue to do so because it is SO IMPORTANT!! It is the key ingredient in every success story. I could insert a million motivational quotes that speak of change right [here]…but you have seen or heard them all.
It is also the first day of Spring which is the changing of the season…thus another appropriate reason to blog!
There are many theories about change and how we phase through it. I am a true believer that we all adapt to change in our own way, at our own pace, and in our own time.
Prochaska and DiClemente developed a six step process that we go through in order to initiate change. It is a dynamic process. This means it changes all the time! We often are not moving through it in a linear pattern but back and forth. Anyone who has struggled with addiction can relate. You regress, move forward, fall back, get stuck, bounce back, and so forth…
The key is to keep moving! Here are the six steps and a brief description of each. This is the process I use in my weight loss counseling to help my patients through the behavioral modifications and to help them establish life long healthier habits:
- Pre-Contemplation: most people in this stage do not even realize they need to change and are not interested in help
- Contemplation: may recognize a need for change but not quite ready for it (may realize what they are doing is harmful but cannot see themselves giving it up)
- Preparation: getting mentally or physically prepared to change, wanting to talk about it, making a plan to change
- Action: implements a plan, takes action, starts moving in the right direction
- Maintenance: sustains the action, continues to move in right direction, makes it a “life change”
- Relapse: abandons the new habit, falls off the wagon
To relapse does not imply failure! We all have relapses and this is why it is included in the process of change. It would be negligent to leave it out. That is why this process is dynamic. Everyone is constantly moving through the different stages.
The key is to know what stage you are in and identify the behaviors of each stage, how to correct the behaviors, how to move forward, and how to prevent a relapse. Seek out a professional health coach or your health care provider to help you through the process. Whether it is weight loss, smoking cessation, alcohol abuse, drug addiction, or any other type of unhealthy habit that is controlling your life or destroying your health or happiness. There is a way out and there is help.
Let the warmer days, greener leaves, and brighter skies inspire you to make a change for the better in your life.
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