How do people change? Preparation

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


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Stages of Change – Preparation.

In the last two blogs (Stages of Change – Pre-contemplation, Contemplation) we explored steps one and two of a model of change. Some of you will remember that I was using a weight loss example. The need to change could be weight loss but it might also be an addiction, job or career change, or a relationship event. So to recap past episodes of my little story, I go to a reunion, people tell me I have put on a lot of weight. At first, I deny this, and I argue about it. That stage of change is called pre-contemplation. Next, I do some thinking about it. I weigh myself, ask the advice of others and I do lots of thinking about it. Finally despite all my efforts to avoid having a problem I discovered that in fact, I do have a problem. Now I am faced with a choice.

At this point, I could just accept the fact that I am now FAT!  Accept and go on with my life maybe embrace the idea. Yes, I am fat and proud of it. Since I am fat why not be the best that I can be and let my fatness shine through. Some people accept their problem. Many alcoholics go on drinking until the bitter end. Or – as strange as this may seem to some people I could decide to make a change and face my problem. That brings us to the third stage of change.

Stage of change 3 – Preparation. Some authors call this determination.

So I decide to challenge my fatness or my joblessness or – could be any other problem. I get out the phone book and look up gyms. There is one right around the corner and I call them. Then for good measure, I call a few more. Most gyms have sales on new memberships around the first of every year. Three months for the price of two and so on. They know that lots of us will decide to exercise, get in shape, join a gym as part of our New Year’s resolution. They also know to get the cash now, because by February at the latest most of the new gym members will have stopped coming. But a few people will stay at it and next year they will be that slim trim self I want to be. So how do they do it?

So I go down and tour this gym. I like the place, friendly people and all, so I join. And I get ready. There is a sporting goods store in that shopping center and I go there and buy some new exercise clothing. Notice I still haven’t exercised much but my credit card at this point. But there is more.

I see a video sales and rental place in the center. I go in there and find some exercise videos. I am in whole hog. I buy three videos. Now I take them home and put them in the VCR.  (Update this to DVD or Blue Ray or Hollow-suite program as needed.) I pop a big bowl of popcorn put my feet up and sit and watch these three videos, faithfully for a week. I really like watching exercise videos. Not so sure about actually exercising though. See a problem here?

Pause this picture for a minute. Doesn’t this apply to most any planned change? People buy books, self-help, or AA books, and then they take them home and pile them on the table and balance a drink on them. Other people put that new self-help book under their pillow in the hope that by osmosis the book will change us while we sleep. Unfortunately, change requires more than preparation. Don’t misunderstand here. Getting a list of meetings for AA or weight loss places is good. Joining a gym is good also. But doesn’t it take more than preparation to make a change?

At some point, I need to stop preparing, use that determination, and actually do something. Next blog we will talk about that next fourth stage of change where the rubber meets the road, where we finally start doing some things that result in change. So if you still want to learn about stages of change stay tuned for the next blog post. If you have decided to stay the way you are or to change someone else, skip the next couple of posts and rejoin us for the episode after the change is over. Feel free to share your thoughts along the way.

Other posts on this topic can be found at Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Early Action, Late Action, Maintenance, relapse, recovery, triggers, support system, more on support systems, Resiliency

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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8 thoughts on “How do people change? Preparation

  1. Pingback: What are the stages of change? | counselorssoapbox

  2. Pingback: Getting some recovery – preventing relapse | counselorssoapbox

  3. Pingback: 4 Stages of recovery | counselorssoapbox

  4. Pingback: Maintenance is a part of change | counselorssoapbox

  5. Pingback: Stages of change – Late Action | counselorssoapbox

  6. Pingback: Stages of change – early action | counselorssoapbox

  7. Pingback: Stages of change part two – contemplation | counselorssoapbox

  8. Pingback: Stages of Change or how do we change? Pre-Contemplation | counselorssoapbox

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