Is your character ready to change?
Characters are just like their writers. They may know they need to change…but they have to be ready or they won’t do it.
You can raise the stakes, but high stakes don’t always create change in real life. If you doubt me, sit in on an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and listen to the stories of people who let their lives fall apart before they changed.
Backstory is your best way to make change credible. Backstory can reveal your character’s first awareness of the need to change and also her process of avoiding change and deciding it was necessary.
With the first two steps of the change cycle in your backstory, your story can focus on her preparation, including trial and error and frustration, and her ultimate choice to change forever.
Then all that’s left for the wrap-up is evidence that she’s going to be able to sustain the change.