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Stages of Change

Think about the last time you made a big change in your life (or tried to). Maybe you wanted to quit smoking, or eat healthier, or get a new job. Whatever it is, big changes don't happen easily, and they don't happen overnight, and progress doesn't happen in a straight line.  

To the untrained eye, it might look like we're not actually changing.  When we talk endlessly about quitting smoking without actually quitting, people around us might conclude that we're not serious about quitting. Or, when we go to the gym for just a few weeks before falling off the wagon, it may seem as if we have failed.    


But according to experts, these phases - the talking, the short-term changes, the relapses - are all a necessary part of the larger process of change.  You can watch a video about that here.  

So if you are supporting a student who wants to manage their time better, or get better grades, or do anything differently at all, it might be frustrating to listen to them talk about their goal without achieving it. It might be hard to watch them say one thing, and then do the opposite. 

But if you can, take a deep breath, listen, notice and celebrate the progress - even when the progress doesn't look like change.