Ready for a Change?

Managing Change

Are you ready for change?

Change isn’t easy. We often set a specific day or event to start, like the classic “I’ll start my diet on Monday.”
But change is more of a process than a single event. DiClemente and Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model outlines the five stages of change: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, and Maintenance. Some even recognize a sixth stage: Relapse.

To develop new positive habits or discard bad ones, mental readiness is key. The entire process can span months or even years. Think about a habit you’d like to form. Are you ready to take action today? Often, we realize we’re not quite there yet.

Before leaping into action (stage four of the model), we must navigate the first three stages. In Precontemplation, there’s no desire or perceived need to change, similar to a form of denial. Negative behaviors, like excessive drinking, overworking, or reacting angrily, may not be recognized as harmful. Benefits of such behaviors, like social ease from drinking, productivity from working, or motivation from anger, may overshadow the need for change. It’s crucial to weigh the long-term benefits against these immediate payoffs, like better health, improved relationships, and reduced conflict, to move forward.

Contemplation, the second stage, brings awareness of the pros and cons of our habits, yet often leaves us feeling ambivalent. Concerns about the difficulty of change and fear of failure may arise. Progressing beyond this stage involves building confidence and hope that our efforts will succeed. This increased motivation propels us into the next stage, Preparation, where we devise a strategy. Whether it’s reducing alcohol intake, setting boundaries around work, or developing anger management skills, this stage is about formulating a game plan.

Action is the stage of implementing this plan and actualizing habit changes. After six months of success, we enter Maintenance, focused on continuing these actions and committing to them long-term.

  • So, where do you find yourself in the readiness for change model?
  • What steps can you take to move from one stage to the next?
  • Are you ready for change?

Enroll in ‘Stacking Success: The Building Blocks of Habits’ today and begin your journey towards profound personal and professional transformation.  Read the related article about the stages of habit change:

About the author

Robin Lavitch, MA, CPC, is the founder of Surpass Your Goals, a coaching practice for entrepreneurs, executives, tweens, school administrators, and more. Her capacity to connect with audiences, elicit thought-provoking ideas and clarify personal ambitions prepares people to apply that knowledge instantaneously to accelerate their own results in leadership, sales, and time management.

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