Find Time for Moving Through Change

the-journeyFinding time for blossoming (building on yesterday’s post) means finding time for moving through change.  It’s helpful to see change, not as a single event in time, but as a series of insights, commitments, and events building one upon the other.

In her Life Attractions blog, Dr. Alice Vlietstra recently offered an excellent post about the stages of change titled, Change:  It Doesn’t Happen All At Once, It Occurs in Stages.  Building on Prochaska and Clemente’s Stages of Change Model, Dr. Vlietstra emphasizes how important it is to identify where one is, relative to these stages.

The 6 stages of change are as follows:

1. Precontemplation
2. Contemplation
3. Preparation
4. Action
5. Maintenance
6. Termination

As with our example of the daffodil yesterday, notice that the Action Stage does not appear on the list until #4! There is quite a bit of activity that takes place relative to change before any action happens.  And, indeed, if someone tries to take action before he or she is actually at that stage, the effort is very unlikely to be successful.

Knowing that change is a process that can be broken down into steps helps address the illusion that it is purely a matter of willpower and action.  Action and discipline are important, to be sure, but setting the stage for change, having the proper tools and supports in place, and fully buying in to the goal that you have set are all ingredients that contribute to successful change management.

As Dr. Vlietstra points out, “… sixty percent of all change may take place before any action occurs.” That is a remarkable statistic, and well worth pondering.  It’s important to honor all of the stages of change, as we build toward our cherished goals!

Have you found time to notice the stages involved in changes that you are thinking about making?  Is this a helpful way for you to approach change?  We’d love to hear what you think!

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