I mean really, really ready?

Change is so much more that just wanting it. Itís a process that involves balancing intention with planning and†action. Unfortunately itís easy to get discouraged and stuck if you havenít laid the proper foundation. Prochaskaís Transtheoretical Model of Behavioral Change is a helpful way to figure out where you are at, see what supports you currently need, and set you up for success.

Check it out and see if any of these descriptions sound like you?

1) Precontemplation

ďItís not me, itís you!Ē

If youíre in this stage, letís be honest, youíre probably not reading this post. You donít think that there is anything that can be changed in your life and youíre not looking for solutions. Even if youíre miserable, youíre not looking for things to be different. Even though there might be some pretty severe consequences from your choices and lifestyle impacting you daily, your mantra is ďit is what it isĒ. Frankly, you really wish everybody else would quit talking to you about doing things differently!

2) Contemplation

Different would be nice but that sounds like work

In this stage youíre all about desire but not quite about action. Change is more like a daydream than a plan. You want change but it doesnít seem possible. You donít know where to start and even if possible solutions were presented, none feel like they really fit. Itís a lot of processing and thinking and wondering. Youíre pretty ambivalent and not entirely convinced that things could be different. Now, donít knock yourself if this sounds like you. This stage is an important one in laying the groundwork for change. This is where you look at your beliefs and your values, and weigh the pros and cons about your next steps. Some people get stuck in this stage because it can be hard facing your own blocks. Many people find it helpful to have a professional guide them through this stage to keep them moving forward. You canít see the big picture if youíre in the frame, and if youíre feeling stuck, reach out for help so you can get out of your own way.

3) Preparation

Change is a cominí

The fastest way to set yourself up for failure is to try and skip this stage and go straight into full-on action. Here the decision to change has been made. You know what you want to do but might not have a solid plan on how to get there. Often people take on too much, too soon, get overwhelmed and give up. In preparation, baby steps are the way forward. Early and quick victories help build momentum and confidence, and catapult you to consistent action. One of those victories can be getting your support team in place. This is often the stage when people reach out to counsellorís and coachís for guidance and accountability, and really start creating a concrete plan for change.

4) Action

Hold on tight because change is happening NOW!

Sh*t just got real! You are doing it. Change is NOW. Youíve challenged the beliefs that were holding you back, youíve laid the foundation, and you have made it happen!! Even good change can be scary so make sure that you have positive people in your corner and keep things attainable. Be mindful not to take on too much and remember your self-care.

5) Maintenance

In it for the long haul

So now youíve done the initial legwork, youíve made the change and itís supposed to be smooth sailing from now on – right? Wrong! Now you have to maintain it and that still takes WORK. When the changes youíre making are new, it is easy to slip back into old habits. Accountability is key! When you hit roadblocks – and you WILL hit roadblocks Ė you will tend to go back to what you have done before Ė even if itís not what you want. Make sure you find some way of keeping yourself on track; this can be with an accountability buddy, a mastermind group, an online forum, a counselor, a coach Ė be creative but HAVE A PLAN! If you plan for the setbacks, they might slow you down, but they wonít stop you.

Regardless of which phase you may find yourself in†DONíT GIVE UP!

Gather your supports and get a plan. Just like you fell down a lot when you learned how to walk, real sustained change can take some time (and the occasional bruised ego) but it is worth it. Keep going and the change you want can be yours.

If you are considering making a change in your life, and you would like some support, I encourage you to give me a call. There is no better day than today to become the person you want to be.