Free: Your toolkit for change (part 5 of 5)
Why it is important to understand the change process
Hopefully, this series will have helped you understand the mental process of choosing and maintaining change.
Firstly, by considering research carried out over decades, it becomes clear that much is still to be learned about how and why people stick to poor habits or finally succeed at improving them even after many failures. Studying the stages of change model gives insight into where you currently stand on any particular goal and allows you to relax in the knowledge that revisiting the earlier stages is part of a recognised process of normal change. When we look at failure later in the blog, this will be important.
Secondly, we learned that the perceived need for willpower is really nothing more than a ready-made excuse. To recall the story of the school detention for dropping a pen in earlier articles, blaming a lack of self discipline is reactive behaviour because “If only I had more control” is a response to the environment. Proactive behaviour does not require willpower as it ensures that responsibility is taken for all actions.
Lastly, we looked at how our own minds can be encouraged to feed us the stimuli and information we need to move towards our goals.
Before we move on, why not take some time to study your position on the stages of change model? Decide whether you are truly ready to progress with your first step or whether you should go back to the planning stage of gathering more information and seeking help. Next, ensure you are thinking proactively about the goal by preparing for each task to offset any need for willpower. Finally, fill your mind with all the stages, actions and results you’ll experience throughout the process so you’re primed for success.
In the next series we’ll zoom far into the future so we can sharpen up our “One Big Thing” and prepare for lifelong change.