Steps to Changing Your Behaviour

If you want to change any behaviour, there are different stages everyone must go through.

Pre-Contemplation Stage

This is what I call a blind spot. You aren’t even aware of the problem yet.

Contemplation Stage

You start thinking that there might be a problem, and consider changing the behaviour. This may happen because you begin to notice certain patterns in your behaviour, such as overreacting, withdrawing, or becoming angry in similar situations.

Preparation Stage

You might change circumstances to make the behaviour easier to change. For example, you realize that there is a problem in your diet, so you start looking at cook books or making a grocery list. You are preparing to change. You may start to discuss a possible change with your partner or friend, so that you have a partner in the change you are about to make.

Action

You make the change. Some people set a date to make a change in order to build up to it, and some simply find the strength in the moment to change.

Maintenance

This is the most difficult part of changing any behaviour. This is why so many people change for a day, a week or a month, and revert back to their old behaviour. When the maintenance stage breaks down, you become stuck in a cycle of yo-yo dieting, on and off-again relationships, or productivity and procrastination.

In my practice, I often see clients when they are at the contemplation, or even the pre-contemplation stage. Something isn’t working, and the client might not be aware of the issue yet. With most of my clients, we work through from the preparation to maintenance stage. I hold them accountable to the changes they want to make. We book future appointments so that they can continue to sustain the change, and receive encouragement along the way. Eventually, the client may not need someone to hold them accountable, or could replace my services with the support of a good friend.

You might find yourself stuck in one of the stages of change. You may need a boost from a therapist. Contact my practice at 416 619 0442 or admin@nicolemccance.com for the support you need. Change is possible, it can be different… and you don’t have to do it alone.

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