Recently I sent a survey out asking my newsletter followers what they would want me to talk more about. I also went back through my intake notes of clients and companies to see what their biggest requests were as well.
It turns out that people want to know a lot about Change.
What is it exactly? Why can’t we just change when we want to? Why does it take some of us so long to change? How come some people change on a dime? Why can’t I change?
Change is easy to explain.
The definition is to make or become something different.
But, change is very hard to do.
Why? Because it always boils down to you. You are the deciding factor in making the changes. You are the one in the driver’s seat to take control of the wheel and change instantly, gradually or never at all.
Over the years, change had been looked at as events such as quit smoking, stop overeating, lose weight. When we try to make these events happen it rarely goes to plan because we try to do it over night or don’t plan sufficiently for the change.
Change happens when you are ready for change, when you have finally decided that it’s time.
When I was working with clients on behavior change at a fitness camp here in San Diego, I saw change happening on a sliding scale of decisions all the time.
Some clients had been researching the camp for years before showing up. Some people made New Year’s resolutions and booked the next flight out. Some people were sent there by family and were in denial about their health issues and weren’t ready to change at all.
When it comes to change, there is a model called the Transtheoretical Model of Change.
The model shows us that there are actually FIVE different stages to change and its all based on decisions:
- Precontemplation – not intending to take action. These individuals know they need to change but have no interest, are fearful or believe everything is fine in their current state.
- Contemplation – intending on taking action in the near future. These individuals have done some research, maybe started to read books on what they are seeking to change.
- Preparation – ready to take action. These individuals have decided to change. They are preparing themselves for what it will look like to make the change and who they will become.
- Action – have started to make the changes and is currently making changes. These individuals are in the midst of change. They are working on the new behavior, seeking the help, or have made huge strides in changing.
- Maintenance – doing the new behavior for more than six months. These individuals have gone through change and are continually maintaining their new habits or behaviors or even new mindset.
As you can see change is certainly not a one time event or an overnight process. Change is hard and it takes copious amounts of time. Sometimes you wake up and decide “today is the day” but in reality you had been thinking about changing for months or maybe years.
So, when are you going to decide to change? When will you finally move from Contemplation to Preparation? Are you already in Action and need a Maintenance plan?
Here are some questions for you to think about:
- What is one thing you have been wanting to change?
- What stage are you in when it comes to thinking about this change?
- When will you know its time to move this change into the Action phase?
If you want to check out more about this model and the research behind it, click here.
Working with individuals on this change process is my speciality, if you are interested in working together on making some big changes, book a 30 minute discovery session to find out more.