Change is a fascinating thing. While many of us think that it must happen instantaneously for it to be effective, the truth is that no matter what it is there are steps of change. I’m going to take you through them and offer advice on how to make those steps effective at creating lasting change.
Step 1 – Awareness
In order for any change to occur, you must be aware that there is an issue of some sort. None of us change because we’re perfectly happy with the way things have been going. Awareness is not about judgement, though; it’s hard to move forward when you’re beginning from a negative standpoint. Instead, look at the situation objectively and ask yourself, “What steps of change can I make that would make me happier long term?”
Step 2 – Desire
It’s true that you can’t force change. You must want it and you must want it for the right reasons for it to stick. Bribery, demands, punishment, rewards – none of those will bring about genuine or lasting change. Only a true desire for change will pave the path to success. That said, sometimes we are not even conscious of our desire to change. I’ve had many readers tell me they had no intention to stop drinking when they started reading my books yet here they are months or years later and still alcohol free. So even if you aren’t sure of your desire, take the time to research the change and see if it sparks something.
Step 3 – Empowerment
Some refer to this step as knowledge, but I prefer empowerment. Empower yourself by learning everything you can about the change you desire. Begin with introspection. What causes you to do the thing you desire to change? What do you desire the outcome to be of making the change? What are your reasons for change?
Now go forth and read, listen, and watch everything you can about making the change you seek. Find medical studies, success stories, support groups – fill your toolbox with every resource available that can empower you to change.
Steps of Change
One of the first steps of change you can take is to start reading This Naked Mind for free today!
You can also join The Alcohol Experiment for daily emails and exercises to support you in a 30-day booze-free challenge that will guide you through the steps of change.
Step 4 – Action
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? We’ve all found ourselves in that boat when it comes to taking action with our changes. Simply put – nothing will change until we implement that change. Fear is what generally holds us back. I find that accountability goes a long way in spurring action, so find a friend or family member to take on change with you. Motivate and support each other through the action phase of your steps of change.
Step 5 – Stick With It
Sure there are steps of change, but they do not follow a straight path. Things will go off course at times. The worst thing you can do when that happens is to go back to how things were. Let’s remember – that wasn’t working for you. You must stick with it – even when things aren’t going right. Dig into that empowerment tool box and shuffle through until you find the resource that can help with whatever issues are popping up. If that tool isn’t in there – seek out one that can help you.
Never have I heard someone say – I wish I hadn’t stuck with making that change!