How To: Make and Maintain Change… Forever

September 22, 2017 by chrysalis


A Tale of Two Changes (ish)

A couple of months ago, I was talking to a friend about my yoga practice. I am hardly an aficionado, but I really enjoy practicing yoga, and when I regularly do yoga, I notice my mood is so much better, I feel better in my body, and my distress tolerance increases significantly. And yet, I think the last time I did yoga was at least a month ago with the previous time being a month or two before that.

On the other hand, I used to be someone who was chronically late. I used to joke that it was in my DNA to be late because I was even born late. Then, one day, someone said something to me, and it stuck with me in just such a way, that over time, I have shifted out of the pattern of being late to being on time (I do think I should clarify, though, that I’m still not an early person).

How can I enjoy doing something so much and still not follow through with actually doing it? How was I able to make the change with becoming more on time even though doing so was physically painful at times?

Breaking It Down

Both of these questions have to do with the question of motivation and sustainability. Why are we sometimes able to make change and keep it going, and other times, it feels like a constant struggle or something that we try and fail to follow through with?

In brief, it is our motivation to change and how we approach the change process that makes a difference.

Next Steps

Starting in September, there will be a Motivation to Change group that explores the change process, strategies to make and maintain change, and focuses on goal setting and follow through to meet goals.

By breaking down the steps it takes to make change, becoming aware of our individual values, and increasing our skills and supports, each of us has the capacity to make significant changes.

To be fair, though, it’s both exactly what I said and also more complex. I still am not doing yoga the way I wanted to several months ago, but I also have shifted my focus towards being more flexible with the activities I am incorporating and being less rigid about it necessarily being yoga where I find my peace and tranquility. As a result, I have made change, continue to make efforts at change, and also have further clarified my values to better match up with my goals for change.

Putting It Together

Clearly, as outlined above, I am still human- just a person who is able to make some changes but struggles with others. However, through this group, I am confident that you can gain better understanding of what motivates you in the moment, keeps you motivated over time, and helps you maintain progress towards your goals.

Wishing everyone wellness, flexibility, and motivation during this season and moving forward!


For Follow Up

If you are struggling to make change, or if you just want to know more about the process, please reach out, and I am happy to follow up with you. Also, if you would like to work through a group focused on change (and flexibility and self-care and all the things), then please let me know, and I am happy to discuss options for that, as well!



Rachel Hendricks, LCSW is a new addition to the clinical team at Chrysalis and has been working on the topic of motivation to change for the entirety of her clinical practice. She also specializes in working with clients who have had their eating disorder for ten or more years, clients with co-occurring substance use behaviors, as well as working with couples and families. She is excited to be making the transition to Wilmington from the Center for Eating Disorders in Baltimore, Maryland and looks forward to becoming more familiar with the area as well as continuing her reputation for providing excellent clinical care in the field of eating disorders.

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