Another dull project landed on Alice’s desk on Monday morning. She was not happy, boredom dominated her life. She wanted to go from boring and corporate, to something more creative. The change came one night when another boring yet predictable project came across her desk and all she could do was stare. That’s when she realized that if she didn’t make a change, she would be stuck in this rut for the rest of her life. In ten years time, she didn’t see herself as a bank manager. She saw herself as a patisserie chef. And that’s where she is now. Alice now owns her own bakery and doesn’t miss her previous life at all.
There comes a point in everyone’s life where you find yourself at a crossroads. However, change doesn’t occur overnight. It requires adaptation through a multi-stage process.
Have you fallen into the same, stagnant routine? Do you want to make a change and be successful? Read on to find out the five stages of change one should employ to find true success.
The times of pre-contemplation; When you are not aware and just about getting ready
In this stage, you do wish to change, but have no intention to do so in the near future. This is either because of fear, lack of awareness or lack of resource, you underestimate the benefits of change.
You are in pre- contemplation when someone suggests that you change, but you are not willing to act on advice. If you want to move from pre-contemplation to contemplation, then a major life event may be the thing to get you motivated and that could be just one of the reasons.
Contemplation is what triggers it all
At this stage, you are open to new information and are excited to gather information, connect to core values, explore new perspectives, ask others about their experience and learn from small steps forward. This is essential for progress.
You are ready now and willing to talk about it. You acknowledge it to yourself and others but you haven’t taken the plunge yet. But the process has begun.
A vision board or journaling may help to represent the change you want to see. If you have been thinking about making a change but haven’t gotten anywhere, then think about why? Is it a lack in skills, knowledge or confidence? If you are afraid, then ask for help.
Preparation is change in the making
This is the part where you are getting ready to take action. This stage helps stamp out the weaknesses and obstacles. It helps you create a plan to tackle the challenges you will likely face when you make a change. This stage can be difficult to judge. Some get stuck in preparation because they are scared to advance or end up jumping straight into action.
Now, you are actively collecting information and are getting ready to take action. You are ready to accept support and are willing to participate in activities.
Here, you need to ask yourself, if I want to see change, what steps do I need to take to achieve my goals
Progress is action
You can’t just think about making a change, you actually have to begin doing things differently. At this stage making a lot of small changes will have a big impact.
When people reach the action stage, they begin to strengthen their determination to change. Asking for help is crucial at this point, be it emotional support or physical support. Having people around you could help you recognize progress and keeps you accountable.
Action is an ongoing process, so perfection is not important, but progress is. You just need to pursue momentum. Acknowledge your efforts and address new obstacles as and when they occur.
You are in the action stage when you are implementing your plan. Moving from action to maintenance, requires about six months of consistent action before advancing forward. This involves remaining steadfast, strong, motivated and focused.
Maintaining the state of change is real progress
Individuals in this stage have overcome obstacles and practiced to become confident and gain a greater level of capacity. They integrate these behaviors into their lifestyle and identity.
Relapses in the maintenance stage can be triggered by stress, crisis, boredom and loss of support. Also the reaching of a plateau has often been the reason for a relapse in maintenance.
You are in the maintenance stage when you have been consistently performing actions. They have now become routine. Ward off boredom by taking up new challenges and acquiring new skills.
Hope these stages of change help you understand your own process. Everybody is different so these change stages may vary for everyone depending on the kind of change and circumstances.
- How to build an effective brand image for your business - September 9, 2016
- The 5 Stages of Change - October 19, 2015
- 11 Things to Do After Writing a Blog Post - October 7, 2015
- How To Create An Effective Homepage - October 5, 2015
- How Brands Become a Success - October 4, 2015