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Becoming Limitless

by Alisa lisa Sophia (2019-04-29)

In 'Are You Ready for Change?' we looked at the first Becoming Limitless Review three of six stages in self change. I referred to the model published in 1994 by Dr. James Prochaska, Dr. John Norcross, and Dr. Carlo DiClementi. The three stages were pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation. The first question we asked was 'Why do you want to change?' When the answer reflected personal motivation, we asked a follow up question. The answers we looked at were typical of the third stage. Now let's look at the last three stages of successful, permanent change. If somebody asked what you were going to do about changing, would you say something like one of the following statements? 'I'm recruiting some friends to go walking together.' or 'I got a box to keep the goodies in the kitchen out of sight.' or 'I'm learning meditation so I can deal with stresses without nicotine.' If so, you have entered the 'Action Stage' of change. To be successful, here is where you will work at your change - one step at a time. You will substitute productive behaviors for non-productive ones. You will arrange your environment and your social life to support the changed life you are aiming for. You will substitute positive self-talk for negative, self-defeating thoughts. You will find out what works for you by trial and error, move forward one step at a time, and celebrate successes - however small they may be - until you have made your change and stuck with it for 6 months. When you can say 'I made my change and solved my problem over six months ago', you have moved into the 'Maintenance Stage' of change. Here you 'keep on keeping on.' There are challenges, of course. Overconfidence is one of them - like thinking or saying, 'I've got this beat forever!' - or playing little tricks such as keeping sweet treats around the house 'in case company comes over' - or allowing yourself to make an exception 'just this one time.' In maintenance, you might slip up when an extreme, unanticipated, or accidental stress hits you. But now you know the stages and can Recycle. Maintain your commitment to your new lifestyle by continuing to consciously enjoy it. Maybe celebrating a success anniversary could remind you - and inspire others, too.