Are You Ready for Change? Here’s How You’ll Know!

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Coming to the decision to make changes is a process. It takes time to decide that thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes need to shift. It’s rare that a light bulb goes off and your mind makes the swift decision to change. It’s more likely that you’ll go through a process before making the final decision. As a matter of fact, there is a cycle that everyone goes through on their way to deciding to change. If you’ve been considering changing your habits, you are likely somewhere on the scale. It looks like this-

  1. Pre-contemplation- Way before people make the final decision to change, they get inklings, warnings, nudges, or bits of insight that a change may be a good idea. In this phase of the cycle there is likely no intention to make changes only the pre-thought that perhaps a change is in order. This can also be a phase when others make comments, give feedback, or share concerns that they have that indicate you may need to evaluate the need to change. 
  2. Contemplation- This phase begins when the inkling to change starts to grow. This is a dynamic stage because the mind is often at war with the benefits of changing versus the benefits of keeping things the same. Until the benefits of change outweigh the benefits of changing, there likely won’t be any commitment to changing habits.
  3. Preparation- When change seems like a proper next step, preparation begins. Time frames may be set or actions may be triggered. This could look like joining a gym, signing up for a meal delivery service, or making an appointment with a dietician. Planning for action is the natural step that precedes changing habits.
  4. Action- The action phase can be lengthy or quite short depending on how much time it takes to internalize the new habits. This is a tough time because the action and implementation of new habits reveals roadblocks and things can easily fall back into old patterns.
  5. Maintenance- Once enough action has taken place and the new habits are routine and automatic, it’s all about maintaining the rhythm and keeping up the good work.

Note: Be prepared to re-cycle. At any time during the process, it’s possible to break the cycle and re-cycle through again. It’s normal. Sometimes it takes longer to move through the cycle in one phase and shorter in another. Everyone has their own pace. Once changes become permanent and the experience of change has normalized it gets easier to make changes in the future because you know what works best for you at each stage of the cycle.

You can gauge your readiness for change by finding yourself on the scale. Be confident that change will happen when the time is right.

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