How to be successful in making changes

How to be successful in making changes

Did you know about 63% of us who make New Year’s resolutions have given up on them by the end of January?

For most of us change is a gradual process which doesn’t depend on willpower, luck, or following someone else’s plan. It does depend, however, on a willingness to challenge and modify our assumptions, thought patterns, emotional responses and behaviours.

6 stages of successful change

Whether you are looking to be successful in a new role, work more effectively, improve your health or lose 10lbs, the process of change is exactly the same.  Prochaska’ research suggests this is a 6 stage process, starting from being resistant to making any changes, thinking about what to do, planning how to do, it taking action maintaining our new behaviours, and dealing with lapses.

Using coaching to smooth you through the bumps

Coaching can help you move from being stuck by identifying where you are in your personal change process and develop strategies to move successfully from stage to stage. It can support you to develop new behaviours and the mindset. It can foster the changes in your brain that underpin the shifts in perception so the change becomes part of ‘how you are’ rather than ‘something you consciously think about’ before taking action.

Which of the following statements can you say yes to?

  1. I have addressed my issue and maintained the change more than 6 months ago
  2. I am taking action on my issue at the moment
  3. I intend to take action next month
  4. I intend to take action before my summer holiday

If you answered yes to the first statement you are at the stages of maintaining your new behaviour, and could possibly use coaching to help you review your learning and put in place ‘contingency plans’ if you find yourself slipping back into previous unwanted habits.

If you answered yes to statement 4 and no to the rest you are thinking about the change. Coaching could help you assess if this is really something you want to do, is this the right area to focus on right now?  Would putting your energy in another area give you a better result?

If you said yes to statement 3 and 4 you are preparing to take action.  Here coaching can help you ‘make it easy’. How can you use your motivation and develop a plan that ensures success?

If you are already ‘working your plan’ you will have answered yes to question 2.  At this stage a coach can support you to maintain your momentum, dealing with set-back and developing the changes in motivation and perspective that allow you to ‘keep going’ once you have moved out of the ‘pain zone’ that initially triggered the desire to change.

Talking to a professional coach could help

If you moving through a personal or professional transition you may like to talk with our Coaching Practice Director Elizabeth Crosse who specialises in working with clients who have an active agenda for change.

If you would like to find out more about how coaching can help you or others move through change come and explore this option on 7th February Coaching Skills in a Day! or 22nd February Wellbeing Coaching. You may also be interested in our Certified Coach Training programme starting in March in London. Please call or email Helen Nuttall for further details on 01582 714280 or email

Note about the author

Elizabeth Crosse is Maximum Coaching’s Practice Director and one of the 1% of Coaches in the world to attain the ICF Master Certified coaching credential.  In addition to running marathons and training coaches, she specialises in working with individuals who are moving through personal and professional transitions.


  • Bupa / ComsRes (November 2015) Boyd, R.D. (1989) ‘Facilitating personal transformation in small groups’, Small Group Behaviour, 20(4), pp.459-474.
  • Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself. New York: Penguin Books
  • Prochaska, J.o., and C.C. DiClemente (1983) ‘Stages and Processes of Self-Change in Smoking: Towards an integrative Model of Change,’ Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.5 390-395
  • Taylor, E.W. (2009) ‘Fostering transformative learning’, in Jack Mezirow, J. and. Taylor, E.W. Transformative learning in practice: insights from community, workplace and higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass


Inspired? Then please give us a call on 01582 714280 to see whether we can be of service to you. We’re here to help!


Categories: Industry news

Recomended Posts