Understanding the process of change is important in not just initiating but maintaining behavior change. Change isn’t a linear process necessarily – just because it is the New Year and you’ve made a commitment doesn’t mean that miraculously your motivation will kick in. It may and, if it does, it may wax and wane over time (even within the same day!); alternatively, it may be a little slow on the uptake. The most important thing is to be mindful and gentle. Stay in the moment and if you have setbacks, notice what got you there. Track back what happened and put you “at risk” for the setback. Next time, you will be more aware. Also, figure out what help you need to sustain your change. Honestly, starting the change is sometimes the easiest part. It’s fun and exciting! Keeping the change up can get boring and rewards diminish over time. Think about it – if you start losing weight, you often get compliments and you feel better. Once you and others have habituated to your weight loss, those motivators diminish and you need to figure out new ways to keep yourself on track. It’s not easy and it’s worth it, especially if you’ve selected a change that is consistent with your values.
Source: A Clinical Psychologist with almost 20 years helping individuals make important changes, who’s learned a little something along the way. 😉