The Process of Change

Change comes in stages for most of us. I remember knowing something had to change but not feeling quite ready.   My fear of failing, counting the what-ifs and overthinking caused me to hold back.  In pursuit of wellness and honoring our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, we walk through many changes in our faith and fitness journey.  I have learned that there are six stages in the process of change. Let’s take a look at them.

Six Stages of Change
  1. Not Prepared To Change
  2. Thinking About Preparing to Change 
  3. Preparing to  Change
  4. In the Process of Change (first few months)
  5. Maintaining  Change (6 months of action mode)
  6. Changed Life (2 years plus of action mode) The temptation to revert to former behavior is gone.

It’s not possible to look at someone and know where they are in the process.  I love taking long walks. There are times when I walk 6-8 miles and times when I walk 3-4.  Unless someone is walking with me, they won’t know exactly how far I’ve gone.

Where do you see yourself right now? We can be in more than one stage as we work on different goals. For example, as I’m working on my certification as a personal trainer, I find myself in the process of changing my sleep habits to accommodate my schedule at the gym. However, in my fitness journey, I already have a changed life.

Wanting Someone Else To Change

There are times when we strongly desire change in someone else’s life. If we look at the stages of change, we can see that each person has to be ready to change before taking action. When we want it more than the other person does, it’s unlikely to happen. We must allow others the space, time, and grace needed to begin their process.

God Is Patient With Us

In our relationship with God, He is patient with us. He understands the pace of our movements because He is intimately aware of our character, habits, and personalities. Some of us move from Stage One to Four with head-spinning speed, while others stay stuck at one stage or another for an extended period. Perhaps that’s why He still hasn’t returned for us yet. After all, it says in 2 Peter 3:9,

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Just as He is patient with us, we must show the same grace to one another and ourselves when needed.  I’m grateful for those who’ve waited for me to get my act together. How about you?

Let’s Reflect:

What stage are you at in your faith journey? Where do you see yourself in your fitness journey? How hard is it to be patient with yourself? Who in your life needs grace from you?

Let’s Pray:

Father, we are grateful for Your patience with us. We are thankful for Your grace and mercy. Help us to show Your love, grace, and mercy to others. Teach us to be more loving and gracious with ourselves so that we can model that for others. Move inside us and among us. And teach us the value of treasuring the process of change. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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