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Change is constant and so necessary; however, it is rarely easy. The first thing to note is, there are five stages of change:

• Precontemplation: you don’t think you need to change

• Contemplation: you recognize there may be a problem, but you haven’t decided it is worth the work to resolve it right now

• Preparation: you are ready to make some changes, but you haven’t started yet

• Action: you are currently engaged in making changes

• Maintenance: you have completed the change and you are maintaining the new lifestyle.

It seems most people fluctuate between contemplation, preparation, and action. It is important to know what stage of change you are in, so you aren’t discouraged by your behavior. If you’re in the contemplation stage you’re supposed to be procrastinating! The focus is getting you to the Action and Maintenance stage.

So, here are some tips to making CHANGE (and not from a dollar!)

Start Small: If your goal is to go to bed at 10p and you currently go at 2a, start by going to bed at 1a and work toward getting to 10p.

Check your motive: You should be changing because you want to for the betterment of yourself for yourself; not because you are following a trend or seeking the approval of someone else.

Ask for help: Seek the help of someone professionally trained to assist you. Oh, and listen to and act on what they say.

Plan: The idea of waking up one morning and changing sounds great but isn’t very realistic. Create a plan of attack.

Remain positive: Each day you make an effort to change should be celebrated. If you are headed in the right direction you will get there.

Be accountable: Tell someone what you are trying to change. That way you will have to give an account for what you are or aren’t doing.

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” ~Libba Bray

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