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Oct 17, 2009
"At every instant of our lives, change is guaranteed. We fight to keep it away, or work to get it here sooner because we think we know what should happen. We are certain (sometimes rightly!) that the change coming toward us will ruin or kill us. We think and hope that the right change will fix us (or them or it) once and for all."
  - "Making Peace with Change" by Gangaji, Care2 link
   "Few admit the enormous failure rate of attempts to change people's behaviour - in marketing, in public policy, in (change) management and in our daily lives. It's really hard to set out to change behaviour - far better to help the behaviour change itself..."
   "(We)...overestimate the role of conscious or directed following. An alternative reading of the literature would suggest that much of the time we do what those around us are doing, think what they're thinking and feel what they're feeling. Our lives, as Wilde put it, are quotations from the lives of others - even if it seems otherwise to each of us."
   - "Herd - the hidden truth about who we are" link
The Stages of Readiness to Change
   This is a 'model' or framework for thinking about change, for people who want/need to change behaviour patterns and habits, e.g. smoking, unhealthy eating and exercise habits. It can also be applied to any major life decision where a person may be 'in two minds' about it, such as whether to leave a job or stay.
In this model, people move 'from being unaware or unwilling to do anything about the problem, to considering the possibility of change, then to becoming determined and prepared to make the change, and finally to taking action and sustaining or maintaining the change over time'. As you can imagine, this is not always a straightforward process.
Proachaska and DiClemente also emphasise that 'moving through the stages of change requires effort and energy for thinking, planning and doing'. No wonder even thinking about change can make you a bit tired!
...   Precontemplation = before thinking about change
...   Contemplation = thinking it over
...   Preparation / Determination = making a decision to change  
...   Action!
...   Maintenance
= keeping going
...   Relapse = slipping back
It is important to remember that people often cycle through these stages a number of times before they successfully change a particular pattern of behaviour, so don't give up the first time - think of it as spiralling upward rather than going round in circles!
Spiral Of Change Diagram

 Timetable details here.
The above is based on information provided by
WHISC - Women's Health: Interventions for Smoking Cessation and from "Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people for change" (2nd Ed) by Miller and Rollnick (2002).
A Behavior Change Model by Prochaska and Diclemente (Changing for Good, James O. Prochaska, John C. Norcross, Carlo C. Diclemente, 1994)
See also
May 1, 2009

Rather than changing the world, change yourself...

First of all, attend to your 'inner' life. You need to understand your own values, then live and work by them.

Second: when unsure of yourself, look to someone whose thoughts and speech and actions you admire very much. Then emulate them... 'fake it 'til you make it', as the saying goes. Imagine what they would do or say in a similar situation.

Thirdly, listen more than you talk... that's why we have only one mouth but 2 ears.

Fourth: pay attention to what is happening- around you, and around the world.

Fifth: don't give in. If you fall down 6 times, stand up 7 times.

Sixth: believe that you are 'enough'. If you believe you ought to be able to save the whole world you'll soon feel disappointed, perhaps even a failure. Remind yourself that 'interdependence' is far, far better than being dependent or independent when something big needs to be achieved. A fine thread isn't very useful on its own, but when working with many others in a combined effort/strategy/pattern, the thread becomes a rope that can stop an elephant. Such is combined effort, team strategy, pattern, planning and management...a well oiled machine.

Seventh... give other people plenty of space and opportunity to learn and grow. Even if they make mistakes. If you find this hard, you may be a 'controlling' personality. If this behaviour isn't corrected, the controlling can destroy your life and the lives of those around you...

Lastly: balance all areas of your life... personal, family, health, career, and spiritual. Regularly set achievable goals to keep yourself on track. Too much activity in one area may end up in grief- e.g. breakdown of your personal or work relationships; bankruptcy; loss of 'purpose'; physical and mental breakdown...

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Posted: May 1, 2009 11:44am


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Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
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