Sunday, 9 February 2014

Change Process - Transformation


Changing complex human behavior is difficult. Unfortunately there is no magic fairy, or gene in a bottle, who can instantaneously grant the changes we desire. Change occurs as a process, not as a one off event. We can appreciate the process of change by thinking about natural processes that involve stages like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly or winter shifting into spring.

Prochaska Model

 A model for conceptualizing the stages of behavior change has been described by a guy called Prochaska and his colleagues (Prochaska and DiClemente, 1988,1992). His model posits that behavior change usually occurs gradually as the person moves through five developmental stages of motivational readiness or intention to change. Progress is not always direct or linear as the person may revert to an earlier stage before entering the next stage.

 The stages are as follows:

Pre-contemplation - Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem behavior that needs to be changed
Contemplation – Acknowledging there is a problem but not yet ready or sure of wanting to make a change
Preparation/Determination – getting ready to change
Action/Willpower – change behavior
Maintenance – Maintaining the behavior change and
Relapse – returning to older behaviours and abandoning the new.

 This provides a powerful framework for developing a successful plan for change as we can develop techniques and strategies to address the characteristics of each phase. For example, making the assumption we are all at the Preparation stage, then we know we are planning to act within the next month. One of the most important techniques at this stage is to break down our larger goal into small steps, or smaller goals. In this way we create an Action Plan for change. Treating change as a process is a central component of successful change.

Where are you currently sitting on the cycle of change? 

Another tool that can assist us in developing our Action Plan is one used extensively in business to identify the tasks needed to complete internal change or deliver specific projects. - It’s called Gap Analysis.
See more at: 

 Gap Analysis 

Gap Analysis is the process of defining the difference between two states -“the way things are” and “the way we want things to be” and then  identifying the steps needed to bridge the gap between the two . To carry out a Gap Analysis, first analyze your current situation, making sure that you gather as much information as possible and then identify the specific outcomes of your current goal – this is your "future state." Next, identify the specific action steps needed to bridge the gap between your current situation and the desired future state. I have included an example using my own goal to help get you started:

Example of Gap Analysis using one component of my Goal from last weeks Blog Post: 

Your Turn - Have a Go

I had all sorts of issues inserting this table as blogger does not have a table setting.  Still I think it demonstrates the process to follow.  Have a go and see if you can articulate the initial smaller steps needed to reach your longer term goal using the Gap Analysis Approach.    

If you know of any other useful tools/strategies I'd love to hear from you. Please post them here so others can learn and grow and achieve their best results.



  1. If you're having trouble breaking it down ask yourself the following self-coaching questions:What do I need to do this week/month/next 6 months?
    How is that positive, challenging, attainable,and measurable? is the time frame realistic? What is your halfway mark?

  2. The enormity of many of your tasks and goals can create inertia and procrastination. Sarks Micro movement Wheel is a brilliant tool for setting in motion a series of small steps towards your goal. On a blank piece of paper draw a large circle, with a smaller circle in the middle and then divide the circle into six equal segments. In the centre circle write down the goal you want to achieve. A Micro movement is a small tiny action that can be completed within a time span of between 5 seconds and 5 minutes. Each segment of your circle represents a 5 second to 5 minute sequence. Now in each segment break the goal down into six smaller actions. Each action once taken will move you closer to the goal you are aiming to achieve.