New Year’s Resolutions – 3 Part Series

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Self-Knowledge is the Key to Success

The new year often brings a sense of a new start, seeing it as at time to change behaviours by setting New Year’s resolutions. Change is hard work and you need to be ready for it! This 3 part blog series will discuss level of readiness for change, how to successfully set goals and gaining the self-knowledge necessary to work with your strengths as you persist toward your goals.


Part #1: Are You Even Ready for Change?

The Transtheoretical Model, by Prochaska et al. (1994), describes change as a “process involving progress through a series of stages”. Before even getting started with your resolutions, you need to evaluate if you are even ready to change at this time. Change is hard work and success is increased if the reasons for change are clear and that they are coming from your own need to change, not outside expectations. Below is a description of the change process. Take a moment to evaluate your readiness to change at this time.

 Stages of Change

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation (Not Ready For Change)

If you are at this stage, you are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future (within 6 months), and you are, most likely, unaware that your behaviour is problematic.

Stage 2: Contemplation (Getting Ready for Change)

If you are at this stage, you are beginning to recognize that your behaviour is problematic, and you start to look at the pros and cons of continuing on the same path. You recognize that changes in your thoughts and behaviours are important and there is an intention to start the change process within the next 6 months.

Stage 3: Preparation (Ready for Change)

If you are at this stage, you are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps towards change, within the next 30 days.

Stage 4: Action (In the Process of Change)

If you are at this stage you have made specific modifications to your life style, and positive change has occurred; you are experiencing the rewards of your effort. Behavioural patterns have changed within the last 6 months, and you just need to work hard to keep moving ahead and staying on track.

Stage 5: Maintenance

If you are at this stage you are working to prevent a relapse, this is a stage that can last indefinitely. You have changed your behaviour more than 6 months ago and the rewards of your hard work are evident and motivation is high to maintain your achievement.


Eventually, people who have zero temptation, 100% self-efficacy (belief in self and ability) and are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping, can consider their new behaviour as a part of who they are, and how they operate, now.

Where are you at, right now, in the change process?

 change is not pleasant but change is constant copy


Coming Soon!

Part #2: Setting Goals That Fit For You

Part #3: Using Psychology to Increase YOUR Chances of Success

All the Best of this Holiday Season!

Dr. Heather Drummond, Ed.D. (Counselling Psychology)

Success Coach * Professor * Passionate Advocate for the Success of Students

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

SOURCE: Prochaska, J.O., Velicer, W.F, Rossi, J.S., Goldstein, M.G., Marcus, B.H., Rakowski, W. (1994) Stages of change and decisional balance for 12 problem behaviors. Health Psychology.13, 39-46

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