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January 2020 Readiness for Change

Trying to make big changes all at once can lower your chances of being successful. The best way to go about making changes in your behavior is to recognize that there are stages of change and set smaller, more appropriate goals and actions. You can maximize your ability to change by matching your goals to the state of change that you are in. This cycle of change can be broken down into the following 6 stages.


If you are in this stage, you probably have no intention of making changes yet and may even deny that there is a problem. You may feel demoralized or hopeless about your situation. Take the opportunity to become more informed and learn about what you can do when you become ready to make changes.


In this stage, you acknowledge that there is a problem and begin to think about possible solutions. Most people in this stage are not ready to take action. Try to focus more on the solutions than the actual problem.


In this stage you are preparing to make changes within the next month. A good first step for this stage is to make your intentions public and build a network of support. It is important that you also establish a firm plan of action during this stage.


This is the stage that requires the most commitment and energy as you begin to modify your behavior and make progress toward your goal. Stay on track and keep focused on the positive results.


This stage is very important. Maintenance is a long, ongoing process that requires active alertness. You must work to prevent relapses in your behavior. Continuing to set goals can help you stay on track.


This is where you meet your goal. The new behavior is now integrated into your life and the old behavior no longer presents a threat. Be sure to take time to appreciate the changes and progress you have made. Keep in mind that some behaviors or problems may require lifelong maintenance to prevent relapse.

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