It is officially 31 days to the year 2020. Many of us during this time have the chance to sit back and reflect on the lessons learned from the year. We begin to look forward to newer lenses of the changes that we want to make for the new year. We tend to set goals, resolutions, vision boards for areas we want to grow in for our life. This month we also celebrate the Christmas holiday with family and friends and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, for December I want to discuss for a second about the word CHANGE.
A few weeks ago, I went out to a few stores with my daughters to purchase pumpkins to decorate for the fall. We stopped by Walmart and all they had was a pumpkin stem left in the empty box. We kindly asked Walmart associate if they had any more pumpkins in the back of the store and she responded that they were completely sold out. She recommended that we stop by the nearby Harps who may had a variety of pumpkins. Minutes later we arrived at the Harps store and my baby girl Autumn got out the truck and said, “Daddy look at this leaf it's orange and here's another one”. My oldest daughter Carmen said, “I wonder why these are orange there are some that are brown”. At that moment I had a quick reminder about change, and I thank God quietly in my spirit that he blessed me to change and mature throughout the years.
Change is not easy, and we all struggle with change daily. Several of my mentors likes to say often that change is inevitable, and I wholeheartedly believe that. Michael Jackson wrote a song called “The Man in the Mirror”. I listen to this song every morning in my playlist routine in preparing for the day. In this song, he sang about changing the person in the mirror. In a world around us, we see people around us, and it seems though they need to change. It could be true, but we must take a closer look from within ourselves. Sin is blind and that is why it is important to listen and discern from those around you. It is tough sometimes listening to the given advice, but it creates accountability in the spirit of love. However, yes, it is easy to point out others' faults and shortcomings, but the change takes place when we look at our thoughts, words, and actions and ask God to make you more Christ-Like. The motto that I try to aim towards daily is to become a better man than I was the day before. Somedays I fall short, but the power of accountability is recognizing those efforts and pick yourself up and keep striving. This concept is not easy, but we must strive for something or we fall. In preparation for looking forward, I felt that it was best to leave you with practical ways of changing. These steps are useful in many different aspects of your life rather it is physical, mentally, spiritually, financially and/ or socially.
There were several times in my life that I needed to change. Majority of those times God humbled me into having a choice to change or continue down the wrong path of destruction. It was a battle between 2 worlds. The spirit moved me towards the directions to fight towards the Godly and uphill way. I deeply wanted to become a better person so that I can help other circumstances and life to become better, so I prayed to God that he would guide, direct, and speak to me and I pray the same for you. Our future is with our children and we each can play a major part in making the world a better place with one life and one opportunity at a time.
Below, I shared with you a model of change that many uses in practice in deciding and/or responding toward change. The change model is also known as the Transtheoretical Model according to Dr. LaMorte.
1. Precontemplation - In this stage, you do not intend to act in the foreseeable future. People are often unaware that their behavior is problematic or produces negative consequences. People in this stage often underestimate the pros of changing behavior and place too much emphasis on the cons of changing behavior.
2. Contemplation - In this stage, people are intending to start healthy behavior in the foreseeable future. People recognize that their behavior may be problematic, and a more thoughtful and practical consideration of the pros and cons of changing the behavior takes place, with an equal emphasis placed on both. Even with this recognition, people may still feel ambivalent toward changing their behavior.
3. Preparation (Determination) - In this stage, people are ready to act within the next 30 days. People start to take small steps toward behavior change, and they believe changing their behavior can lead to a healthier life.
4. Action - In this stage, people have recently changed their behavior (defined as within the last 6 months) and intend to keep moving forward with that behavior change. People may exhibit this by modifying their problem behavior or acquiring new healthy behaviors.
5. Maintenance - In this stage, people have sustained their behavior change for a while (defined as more than 6 months) and intend to maintain the behavior change going forward. People in this stage work to prevent relapse to earlier stages.
6. Termination - In this stage, people have no desire to return to their unhealthy behaviors and are sure they will not relapse.
LaMorte, W. (n.d.). Behavioral Change Models. Retrieved from http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6.html#headingtaglink_1.