Habit Changes in 5 Easy Steps

by Aug 20, 2018

Changing your behavior, big or small, is easier said than done.

The psychology behind habits and why we have them is interesting and complex. What makes us so stuck in our ways, and why is it so hard to change those patterns?

In her article here, Katherine Schafler describes the step-by-step process that many psychologists recognize as the conscious way to change behavior. We’ve highlighted these steps here below, but reading her article will help to give more breadth to the narrative. Breaking a process down into steps makes it a lot easier and less overwhelming.

  1. Pre-contemplation: You might be subconsciously noticing that a change is needed, but you haven’t acknowledged it to yourself yet. This is the time where your actions or environment will tell you what’s wrong.
  2. Contemplation: You’ve noticed something may be afoot and you’re trying to decide what to do. You realize that a change might be needed, but you’re determining if it’s necessary and what to do.
  3. Preparation: You’ve decided to make the change and you’re figuring out next steps.
  4. Action: You’ve implemented your change and are taking conscious steps to put it into effect.
  5. Maintenance: This stage is incredibly important, and arguably the hardest step. Once you make the change, you have to maintain it. So many of us have implemented a new habit, but fallen off the wagon a few weeks in. This is where maintenance comes in.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

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