Initiating the change is often known as one of the most challenging step of a change process, together with maintaining the change you want to make.

If you look at several change management model, you will find that the first steps can be very different depending on the type of change that is studied. In the Kübler-Ross model, known as the Kübler-Ross change curve, shock and denial are the first steps of the model.

While this model is very useful when facing a change that has a strong emotional impact, it is interesting to look at other complementary models to identify what can be the first step of a change process.

Nathaniel Branden, famous Psychotherapist, explains that to change, the first step is not the action taken to change, but the awareness that there is a need of change.

It is what is also used in the ADKAR change management model where the change management process contains the following steps:

  • Awareness of the need to change
  • Desire to take part in the change
  • Knowledge of how to change
  • Ability to implement the change
  • Reinforcement to sustain the change

To take inspiration from these steps, below are a few questions to ask yourself if you are in a change management process:

  • Awareness: is there something you would like to change in your work / life ?
  • Desire: do you desire this change and are you ready to commit to it ?
  • Knowledge: which first step can you take to initiate this change ?
  • Ability: how can you practice to implement this change to show that you are able to make it ?
  • Reinforcement: how can you reinforce this change to make it sustainable ?

To change require a strong momentum, but also some method and if you follow the previous steps, this will strongly facilitate your goal achievement.

But first things first, as Nathaniel Branden mentionned, be aware of the need to change, and accept it.