Embracing Change: Understanding the Five Stages, and Where You Stand Today

It is hard to change bad habits! If it wasn’t, we would all be perfect… but that’s not realistic. 🤪  No matter what the bad habit is (maybe it’s the 5th cookie after dinner, or late-night online shopping), understanding the stages of change can make the process smoother. In fact, understanding where you are in the five stages can help you avoid the common pitfall of taking action before you’re ready. 😟

1. Precontemplation 🙈: In this stage you might not even be aware of the need for change. You’re on autopilot, and the thought of making a change hasn’t quite entered your mind. Someone in this stage might be thinking, “What change? I’m good where I am.”

2. Contemplation 🤔: This is when you begin considering the idea of change.💡 You’re thinking about the pros and cons, and recognizing how it could benefit you. You might say to yourself, “Hmm, I’ve been thinking about improving my health, but I’m not sure where to start.” You’re on the right track!

3. Determination 🙋: Now, you’ve made up your mind and are committed to making a change. This stage includes figuring out what you need and creating a plan to take action. It’s an exciting stage, and an important one to set yourself up for success.

4. Action 👟: Action is where the rubber meets the road. You’re actively implementing the changes you’ve decided on. If your goal is to improve your health, this is when you would start exercising regularly and eating healthier. The previous stages of transformation are important to this step in the journey, because roadblocks usually show up once we take action, and having a solid foundation helps us push through challenges. 🏋️

5. Maintenance ⚙️: After successfully taking action, you enter in the maintenance phase. You’re working to keep the positive changes integrated into your life. “I’ve been working out for a while now, and I’m feeling great!”

Each stage is an important step in the process: jumping from precontemplation to action might cause you to flounder or burn out. 💥 Success means moving through these stages at your own pace, so give yourself grace no matter where you are. Change takes time. Embrace the journey, one stage at a time. 🪜