It is a time for making resolutions; however, I recently heard someone say that she is not making resolutions this year because she did not accomplish last year's.
Do not avoid making resolutions because of past failures. Change is difficult. Our habits develop over long years (often for reasons we are not conscious of) and resist breaking easily. There is a behavioral model that outlines the steps toward changing behavior or habits.
The Stages of Change model was originally developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island when they were studying how smokers were able to give up their habits or addiction.
Here is a much-simplified version:
- Pre-contemplation: Not seriously thinking about change
- Contemplation: Aware of consequences of a bad habit and thinking about your problems
- Preparation: Have made a commitment to change
- Action: Taking steps to change
- Maintenance: Avoiding temptation to return to bad habit(s)
- Relapse: Discouraged but recognize that cessation of a bad habit does not follow a straight path
My list of 2012 resolutions is short: handle my finances better, get fit(ter) and kick start my writing career.
Will you dare to change?