Change. We all experience it, whether we like it or not.
And even when it is change of our own choice, it can still be difficult to transition through it.
This month, I’ll be looking at the theme of ‘change’, because it seems that no matter how often we experience change, or how welcome it is, there are still blocks and barriers that we might encounter…or even put up for ourselves. Even when we know change is going to bring something positive. So why do we do it?
There are a number of models of change, and what they all have in common is that they talk about the various stages that we go through, if we want to make change work. You might recognise some of these phases in some of the situation you’ve encountered:
This is the phase before change, when we’re either blissfully unaware or blinded to the fact that we need to change. But we are most likely feeling the impact, either we feel stuck or we’re getting negative feedback from our life, which alerts us to the fact that something needs to change.
This is where we start to think about what changes we need to make. And more importantly, we start to identify the positive things that could come from making change. If you’re looking to make a change in habit or behaviour, this is really key, because focussing on what we will gain can be a strong motivator.
The preparation stage is exactly how it sounds. This is when we start planning, research and collecting information in readiness for making change. Being prepared is great, as it helps us to set realistic timelines or goals, but it can be an easy phase to get stuck in. We can be in danger of putting all our time and energy into planning, without actually getting started.
By this stage, we’re already on the way to taking direct action towards our goals. Even if we start small, once we get started, it’s much easier for progress to build. We might need to experiment or take baby steps at first. The important thing is that we keeping moving forward.
Another key step in making lasting change, is being able to maintain it. How often do we aim for something, then lose momentum once we’ve achieved it? If our main outcome is reaching a specific goal, it can be very easy to let our habits and routine slip. Having a plan for maintaining change can help to keep you on track.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be looking at how we can make change work positively for us, and how we can deal with the blocks that can get in the way.
Photo credit: Suzanne D Williams via Unsplash.com