by Elliott Kronenfeld

People come to see me to create change in their lives, their relationships or their career. Usually after the first session, I have heard them talk about their frustration and failed attempts to create the change they long for.  Why? Why can’t some folks create the change that just seems to be a logic process?  They try and try and try.

The stages of change model was produced by Prochaska and DiClemente.  It talks about how people move from pre-contemplation through change and maintenance (See article: However, working through the stages of change, people still get frustrated and cycle through relapse and self-shame.  So, what does one need to know to be successful?

Real change often happens when people can scale it appropriately.  When I sit in my office and people tell me I want to get healthy…that is the change I seek! I am acutely aware that we have real risk of failure.

The reason is simple. They are trying to change a system and while they make a dent in the problem, they can’t seem to get to the goal. Here is why – systems are made of processes. Processes are made of steps. For example, losing weight is a system.  Grocery shopping and meal planning are processes.  Making a shopping list and having an apple before you go to the store are a steps. You can only change steps. Change one step at a time until you get maintenance. Learning to have a new way of living and a new way of thinking is going to take time.  Failure is often because people need immediate gratification and can’t work through the many roadblocks to the goal. Real change is not immediate.

If you are looking for real change in your life and are struggling to achieve your goal, contact Elliott at

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