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Why is it so hard to make sustaining change, especially in relationships?

What are the Stages of Change?

How can you provide yourself with tenderness if and when you find yourself struggling to change, ya dummy?

Welcome to episode 72! In this episode, we will be answering: what is it going to take for you to make a change in your life? I will walk you through the 5 (ahem, 6) Stages of Change to help you understand why it is so hard to make changes, especially in your relationships. If you struggle to set boundaries, assert your needs, or make necessary changes to your relationships–this episode is a must-listen for you! After walking you through the Stages of Change, I then apply them to a past dating relationship to build your understanding. It was a painful relationship. It was painful to revisit. I hope that by seeing the Stages of Change in action, you will provide yourself with better compassion as you make changes in your life.

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More deets on this week’s episode:

We start off with a serenade and check-in.

Next, I share some background on The Stages of Change: the Transtheoretical Model of Change which is the basis for developing effective interventions to promote health behavior change first published by Prochaska & DiClemente in 1983.

It has 5 stages but we will include 6: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and the sixth is relapse. Relapse is not necessary but it often happens which is why it is included as the 6th stage.

Short breakdown:

Precontemplation – it’s in the word itself. Pre, as in before, contemplation. Nothing much is happening at this stage, however, data/observations/experiences are being collected.
Contemplation – the action of looking thoughtfully at something FOR A LONG TIME, deep reflective thought. You’ve gone from 0 to awareness that a change is needed.
Preparation – in this stage, you are prepping yourself to take action sooner than later. You’ve recognized a need for change and now you are prepping internally and externally.
Action! – in this stage, actions are taken to make change. It’s observable, explicit, external behavior.
Maintenance – you work to maintain whatever changes/actions you have made. This is all to prevent regression and/or relapse.
Re lapse – or regression. In this stage, you revert to an earlier stage of change – contemplation, preparation, etc.
I then apply 6 stages to my past relationship with a homeless man.

Questions for you:

If you have a current struggle, toxic relationship, addiction, challenge in your life–where do you sense you are in the SOC?

What experience can you look back on in your life to see your own process in going through the SOC?

How can you practice tenderness towards yourself given where you currently are in the SOC in relation to your current struggle?

What, if any, step can you take to move forward into the next stage? One step–one action–one call.

How can you practice compassion for others given where they are in their SOC journey?

Is this a helpful lens to apply to your life? If so, do, if not, don’t!

The end!

Thank you. Love you. RRSSS.

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