What if I told you that if you started to change your behavior today and failed but started again within a month, you would be more likely to succeed? Would you believe me?
It’s true. People who start to change a behavior and fail are more likely to reach their goals.
Scan the room you are in right now. If I were a betting gal I would say that every person in that room is currently denying, thinking about, or actively trying to change a behavior.
So, why is behavior change so difficult? Humans can send rockets into space and have the main module safely return to the same spot it launched, but we don’t have behavior change figured out?
Let’s start by talking about what behaviors people are trying to change:
Reducing alcohol intake
Going to bed earlier
These are a few examples of behaviors that are being changed by individuals. Some are successful while others are not.
Currently, there are many theories of behavior change out there. We are going to take a look at a popular way to apply behavior change theory into practice - called a model.
One of the most popular models of behavior change is the transtheoretical model for behavior change. It’s also called the stages of change.
The 5 Stages of Change
If you are reading this article then you are most likely in the Contemplation, Preparation, or Action stages of change.
In this article, we are going to focus on the Preparation stage of change because it is the stage of change that signifies you are thinking about making a change in the next month.
You might be in the Preparation stage of change if you:
Have joined some sort of support group
Have bought a book about the behavior you are trying to change
Have searched for and found someone you want to work with
A lot of people get stuck in the Preparation stage and never get to the Action stage.
It could be for a lot of reasons but it could be that:
You haven’t made your decision public (you haven’t told anyone what your intentions are)
You still need to convince yourself that taking action is best for you
Below are powerful ways that can bring you from Preparation into Action.
You need to make a plan
Be as detailed as possible about obstacles and ways to overcome them
Focus on what your future self will look like?
What will changing X behavior allow me to do, be, or accomplish?
Make a list of benefits of changing your behavior
Let the past go
You are saying goodbye to your old self to make space for your new self
Make your behavior change a priority
Commit to the belief in your ability to change
Accept that you may fail
Take small steps
You’re not climbing the mountain in one day
Set a date to begin your change in behavior
Which one sounds best to you? Are you currently doing any of them? Which one brings up emotions like fear or anxiety?
Now that we have an understanding of which behaviors are trying to be changed, the stages of change, the preparation stage, and ways that you can move from Preparation to Action, let’s talk about a final important topic.
Have you made a Pros and Cons list?
Take out a piece of paper or your phone’s note section.
Make a 2x2 table or put ‘Pros’ on the left-hand side and ‘Cons’ on the right-hand side.
Take a minute to list out your pros and cons.
An easy way to know if you are genuinely ready to move into the Action stage is this:
—----------If your cons outweigh your pros, you are not ready to take action.—----------
Are you ready?
Ready to take action? Schedule a 20-minute meet and greet where we discuss your goals and how I can help you reach them!