Have you thought about your new year’s resolutions yet? What are you ready to finally change?
Maybe you’re tired of being single and are ready for a relationship but no matter how much you want it, things don’t seem to change. Maybe you’re not looking for a relationship because all the men you meet treat you badly, so you are really just wondering how you can start finding men that better meet your standards.
With a little willpower and a new outlook, you can change whatever isn’t working for you in the new year. Here’s how:
Why Is It So Hard to Change?
Finding the right way to help yourself is a lot more difficult than most people realize. Perhaps you’ve read several books on relationships or taken a few courses to help, but when you didn’t see immediate results from the changes you made, you got discouraged and gave up. Maybe their suggestions didn’t seem important or like they applied to your situation, or you may have felt angry at some of their recommendations.
Change is very hard. Many people don’t achieve their new year’s resolutions because they aren’t quite ready to change. Others are unrealistic in the goals they set, making it easier to get discouraged when milestones aren’t met.
Changing ingrained habits is not so different from changing addictive behavior like alcoholism or smoking. In fact, the way doctors help alcoholics alter their behavior can be used as a helpful framework for you to better understand your own process of change, even if you are not confronting anything as serious as addiction. It takes similar strength and determination. In fact, a useful example of how to change can be found in research done on alcoholism – a problem that requires serious internal change to address. Researchers have divided the process of change for alcoholics into five stages, a path that also applies to other behaviors such as smoking and overeating.
The Five Stages of Change:
When you understand where you are in this process, you can make better choices about what will be most helpful to you on your journey to changing your life. You can move in and out of the different stages during the process. The five stages of change that doctors use to help alter behavior are:
- Precontemplation – “All the good men are taken.”
- Contemplation – “Maybe I’m sabotaging my chance at getting what I want.”
- Determination – “I’m tired of not getting what I want from men. I have to do something about it.”
- Action – “I’m getting the help I need today.”
- Maintenance – “I’m making progress, but I keep making some of the same mistakes. There’s still work to do.”
Ideally, you will be able to say this by the end of it: “I know how to get what I want and feel confident that I’ll find a good relationship.”
Beginning with Precontemplation
If you’re in the precontemplation stage, you may have just given up on your search for the right guy and assumed that you’d never meet anyone. The process can be so discouraging or overwhelming that you’d rather just avoid trying to work on it at all. If you’ve had your heart broken, you might be afraid of getting hurt again. This is all understandable.
Everyone faces their own set of unique challenges. You might be thinking, “Men can’t commit.” You may think it’s just a problem with the men you meet or where you live. You also might be telling yourself that you can’t focus on dating until you’ve lost 10 pounds or have finished with some project in your life.
Starting all over may feel like too big a risk. After a series of crash and burn romances, the thought of dating may just turn you off. Maybe you simply don’t know how modern dating is sabotaging your love life (this video really helps explain everything) or what to do about it. It’s possible that you just don’t have the energy to deal with trying to change right now. Whatever the case, understanding the process of change makes it much easier to realize how simple it is to start.
How You Can Start Changing Your Life Today
Many people are afraid of change, even if it’s a change they desire. In order to move to the next stage, the contemplation stage, the important questions to ask yourself are, “What do I really want?” and “Am I letting any of the above get in the way of going for what I want?”
In the next 4 weeks, we’ll walk you through the rest of the stages of change, so that you can visualize where you can be in 2018 no matter what obstacles you face!
If you’d like a step by step guide to help you on your way in this new year, be one of the first to sign up for my new short course: How to Become Your Own Brand of Sexy in 5 Simple Steps.