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Encouraging Positive Change: The Stages of Change-making

January 23, 2024

Making a change can take a lot of work, whether it’s in your career, health, finances, or anything else. That’s because you can’t make a change without understanding the context for your change, why it’s important, and how to make sure it’s long-lasting. That’s why we suggest going through these stages of change-making anytime you are attempting to make a life transformation.

The Spark
This initial stage can often feel like the most difficult, especially if you don’t feel like you have the tools or resources to make a life change. Precontemplation will also likely take you back to past failures and where you went wrong. Fortunately, as long as you start to become conscious of your goals, you can quickly pass this stage.

Planning
Here, you’re already considering a change, but aren’t yet committed. When contemplating it can be helpful to put pen to paper and list the pros and cons of your proposed change. How important is it for you to make this change? What obstacles will you likely run into? This is the time to consider these questions.

Preparing
Once you have ingrained that a change is needed, it’s time to set yourself up for success. Preparation can help you avoid roadblocks and keep you on track for your goals. For instance, if you want to save money for retirement, you could prepare a budget that keeps you in-check and helps you achieve your savings goal.

Taking Action
Now it’s time to put your plan into action. Yes, that’s easier said than done, and you may have some hiccups along the way, but try to remind yourself of the importance of this change and how it can benefit you. Don’t be afraid to utilize your family or friends. Consider vocalizing your plans with them so that they can check in with you on your new change and support you when times feel tough.

Staying on Track
Now that you’re in the groove it’s important to stay on track. Here, thoughts of failure may start to creep in. Maybe there is a week where you don’t save as much as you would have liked, or a day in which you don’t exercise as often as in your plan. Don’t let each individual moment take away from your overall progress. So, instead of tracking your progress day-by-day, consider looking at a longer time horizon so you can see how far you’ve come since the beginning. This can help keep you motivated over time.

Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And you can’t expect your lifestyle or financial changes to change quickly either. Only through long-term planning, goal-setting, and fortitude will you have a chance to make the important life changes you are striving for.

Remember, the path to transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay committed, keep your goals in sight, and reach out to us for support. You got this.