Building Block for Change
Change is not easy. Especially big changes. We get stuck in our ways, create bad habits, or sometimes just don't know where to even begin because change feels too overwhelming.
Change can actually be broken down into five different stages:
Pre-contemplation - in denial, no intention on changing behavior
Contemplation - recognize a problem exists, but still no commitment to change or action
Preparation - intention to take action to change the problem
Action - active steps taken to modify the behavior
Maintenance - the new behavior replaces the old, and efforts are made to help maintain it
There is sometimes a sixth step called relapse, when you may fall back into old habits or behavior. The length of time you may stay in one stage or another (or even jump back and forth between stages) varies. More important is giving yourself credit for even small changes that, over time, lead you to the big changes.
Above is a picture that sits on a bookshelf in my office. The ever-so-lovable Snoopy demonstrates a valuable lesson: the smallest of changes can go a long way. Simply changing the direction he faces atop his doghouse makes his life less of a bore! For those of us who are not cartoon beagles, small changes might be going to bed 30 minutes early, smoking just one less cigarette each day, taking a walk just once a week, or making time to eat breakfast. What small change can you make that will go a long way?