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Happy new change!

Posted Jan 07 2011 7:58pm
It's the new year, and how are those resolutions going for you? Are you committed, motivated, dedicated to what new change you want to bring into your life?

Or has that great resolution already faded into obscurity in the first week of the new year?

I had the pleasure on Thursday to take part in the annual Whole Body Detoxification program at Roots and Legends , with the invitation of the program's originator Arthur Shattuck. The invited topic was change: how not only approach change but to sustain change over a period of time.

It's an important subject because the four-week detox program involves changes in food (no cheese), in storing foods (nuts and oils in refrigerator) and personal habits (no deodorant, aluminum pots or plastic bags.)

That's the challenge. I always refer to Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward  by James Prochaska, John Norcross and Carlo DiClemente. The trio has elegantly sketched a six-stage process of change. It begins with "pre-contemplation: -- which most of us would call "clueless" -- to the final stage of "termination" -- which most of us would call "success." In the middle, there are the steps of contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.

It's those middle steps that we need to identify. We identify them because we need to know where we fit with them.

Among the first questions that we need to ask is, "Am I really serious about this change?"

Most of us hope (secretly!) that the change will happen  magically and we won't have to take responsiblity for it. Other times we may be wishing for change, but the people around us  don't want to change. Then we need to have a plan to pursue our goal even when other people may not approve, support or understand.

So, good luck and good contemplating and good planning to those of us in the detox program. And for you? You don't need to wait until 2012. Just figure out where you stand in the six steps of change and start again.
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