Change is an inevitable and constant part of our lives, but that doesn’t mean it’s always clear or easy. Since we can’t prevent change, the key is to help ourselves become better at managing it, and understanding these five steps can help:

  1. Precontemplation. This is when we become aware that some sort of change is ahead. Instead of fearing it, we tell ourselves we know it’s coming and mentally prepare for the following steps.
  2. Contemplation. The change is happening, and it’s time for us to devote some time and energy to thinking about it and how it may affect us and those around us.
  3. Planning. After we give the change careful thought, we can determine what steps we need to take to adapt to the change.
  4. Launch. Once we have our plan in place, we’re ready to put it into action. We’ll begin each of the steps we envisioned.
  5. Maintenance. As time passes, we’ll make sure our plans worked as we hoped. If we need to make minor adjustments based upon what we’ve seen and learned, it’s okay to do that.

Actually, there’s a sixth stage most of us forget: celebration! When we successfully navigate through a change, we need to be proud of ourselves and what we accomplished, because that will help us make our way through the next inevitable change.

If fear of change or difficulty finding your way through it is holding you back, talking with one of our professional counselors might help. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a time.

Teresa Haskins is one of Care to Change’s therapists who works with women, couples and families.