The 6 Stages of Change

Shift and shift, again. This mantra is one of our mainstays at The Gorgeous Girls Guide. It is a simple saying meant to remind each and every one of us to continuously change, to improve our emotional, physical, financial, professional, and spiritual selves.

But, how do you know when you’re on the right track? How do you know when you’re doing it right?


Stage 1: Pre-contemplation (Denial)

In this first stage, you’re blind to red flags. You’re denying you care about what’s happening or what’s about to happen. You’re in denial. You are aloof and detached from the pressing issues at hand.

Stage 2: Contemplation (Ambivalence)

In this second stage, you’re beginning to wonder if, in fact, you do have a problem. Something isn’t right, but you’re not ready to admit or take responsibility for it.

Stage 3: Preparation and Determination (Admission)

In this third stage, you’re finally ready to admit you have a problem on your hands. Congratulations! This is where the healing begins.

Stage 4: Action (Taking Steps and Making Changes)

In this fourth stage, the fun begins. Here is where you begin to create small shifts, which will create a ripple effect and turn into larger shifts! You’re sick and tired of the way things have been and you begin to seek the guidance and tools necessary to make changes. This is where you start creating your systems.

Stage 5: Maintenance (Continue Doing What Works)

In this fifth stage, you’re doing the work and trusting your systems (if they are working well for you). Here, your focus is on stabilizing emotionally, physically, and otherwise. You’re incorporating daily routines and grounding rituals that keep you safe and sane. You’re in your self-care bubble.

Stage 6: Relapse and Recycle (Shift Again)

This final stage may seem like failure, but it’s actually one of my favorites. Here is where you slip and have to pick yourself back up. I love this stage because it builds confidence and strength; it’s where you get to prove to yourself that you can make it through anything, pull yourself out of it, take a few steps backward, and then make leaps and bounds forward.

So, after reviewing these stages of change, where are you?