Healthy Beginnings

5 Tips to Help You Implement Change and Achieve Your Goals in 2017

It’s a new year! With the change of the calendar year it somehow feels like we are given a clean slate, a new opportunity to start over, set new goals and make all of our dreams come true. These goals and dreams may be new, or perhaps we’ve set them before and haven’t been successful in accomplishing them. Researchers from the University of Scranton suggest that only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals1.

In order to become more successful at implementing change, perhaps all you need is a different approach. The following are the proven steps to success of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change:

  1. Pre-Contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

After interviewing a handful of individuals about goals they had successfully achieved and how they went about doing it, it was obvious that each one of them went through the above steps unknowingly. Let’s define each of these steps more thoroughly so that you might be able to implement them with your current goals and achieve success in this new year.

  1. Pre-Contemplation: No recognition for or need of interest in change. In this stage, the need or desire for change has yet to be identified, or change has been contemplated and it is either not the right time, or the tools for how to implement change have not been discovered.
  2. Contemplation: An individual begins to consider change. Once an area for change has been clearly identified exploration can begin. Where did this behavior come from? What are the negative and positive aspects? How can this behavior be changed?
  3. Preparation: 
Planning for change. A person begins to identify ways in which they can change and prepare a plan for implementing that change into their life.
  4. Action: 
Adopting new habits. Begin putting the plan for change into action.
  5. Maintenance: Ongoing practice of new healthy behavior. With awareness of mind,
the continuation of the action will become a new behavior and the individual will have successfully created change in their life.

Easier said than done, I know. The area where I’ve struggled the most is in the fifth stage, maintenance. Creating a new behavior takes awareness and effort. Old behaviors are easy to fall back into, the brain and body know exactly how to perform them. The best tool I have found to help be successful in the maintenance stage is meditation. One of the many benefits of meditation is clarity and peace of mind. When the mind is calm, it’s easier to focus and become aware of our actions, with that type of heightened awareness maintaining change becomes much easier.

So this new year, consider taking a different approach to achieving your goals, write down clearly defined steps for each stage, and maybe even give meditation a try.

For more information on meditation classes lead by Lisa, please visit www. Lisa Cook is a Carson City native and she has been practicing yoga and meditation for thirteen years, teaching for six. She is the former layout designer for Well Being Journal and has recently joined The Change Place as a full-time yoga, meditation and mat Pilates instructor.

By Lisa Cook


  1. “New Years Resolutions Statistics,” http:// statistics.
  2. “The Transtheoritical Model,” http://www. behavior-change.