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Change Doesn't Happen Overnight

You've decided to make a change, you know you're committed, you have everything you need to do it, but... the struggle is real. Lasting change is a PROCESS. It requires mental, emotional, physical, environmental, and interpersonal changes.

Usually, we begin the change process and transition to various stages throughout, with some back-tracking and bouncing around along the way.

  1. Precontemplation - This is a fancy way of saying "denial." You don't see there is a problem. You may excuse away the consequences and say it's someone else's problem, etc.

  2. Contemplation - You start to notice that you're experiencing some negative consequences and you don't like those, so maybe something needs to change. You may not be sure what, or whether you want to change, but you have some ambivalence about the subject.

  3. Preparation - Ok, you know there is definitely a problem and you want to do something, but you don't know what to do or how to start. You start googling and talking to friends/family about the issue and get some ideas to consider making changes.

  4. Action - You know there is a problem, you have chosen a course of action, and so you are going to start. It's a rocky time because change can be difficult and new issues may emerge or obstacles you were not expecting, which may discourage you from taking action.

  5. Maintenance - You have made changes and now you just need to keep up the good work!

There is potential for Relapse along the way, where you digress back to a previous stage of change. This is normal and a struggle everyone goes through when making change. It may be a red flag that you could use more information, support, resources, etc. to help you through the process.

Counseling allows you to have objective feedback and support as you make this process. Whether it's changing your daily routine, bad habits, communication styles, relationship patterns, or emotional and mental problems, a skilled counselor can help.

Whether you go through this process alone or with others, be patient. Change doesn't happen overnight.


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