Maintaining

Posted on September 23, 2011

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By this stage (in the seven stages of change), you’ve done most of the thought and grunt work needed to start reaching your goal. If you set out to lose 25 lbs, by this stage the numbers on the scale are going way, way down. If you decided you wanted to meet a great partner, by now you’re dating several potential ones. If you made up your mind to make a million dollars, well, now you’re much richer than you were before.

The Maintenance stage is not about building or achieving your goal. This stage is all about, well, yes, maintaining what you’ve created so that you can reach your goal.

But let’s face it. Once you’ve gotten through the drama of the Action phase, things really aren’t as exciting anymore. There aren’t any more big hurdles to overcome. You’ve conquered most of your most deeply held fears and negative beliefs. You’ve learned how to gracefully and efficiently navigate any changeback attacks that may have come your way. And you’ve probably realized that soon your dream is going to become a reality.

One of the tools I would recommend for this stage is to find a way to spice things up a bit. Maintenance can be incredibly boring. When you first started on the journey towards a change you wanted to make, you may have needed a routine in order to solidify a new way of being. But after several months, this routine will start to become monotonous. You’ll start to get restless if you keep things going the exact same way.

You’ll also need to change things up a bit because as you continue to move forward, things in your life will change. The secret to this stage of Maintenance is to a) keep things interesting by giving yourself more variety and b) changing and adapting things as your new life dictates.

So here’s a tool for this new stage:

Coaching Tool: Maintenance

1. Examine how you’ve been living your life since you’ve started working your way towards your goal. What do you have in place to make sure that you are able to maintain your results?

2. How can you continue to maintain the integrity of your results while simultaneously giving the process some variety? What new things are you willing to try to keep things interesting?

3. What rituals and routines no longer fit your life? Can these be replaced with different rituals and routines that fit the new you better?

*Once you’ve answered these new questions, try out some of the new things you’ve listed and see if they work for you. Remember the key to maintenance is variety and adaptability. As long as you’re still working your way towards your desired change, you’re on the right track. 

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Posted in: Stages of Change