Haven’t we all said that?
Maybe you’ve even said it again and again–as if a day will just arrive and you will suddenly do this thing.
Maybe it’s a career goal, a personal goal, a health goal or wanting to kick a bad habit.
You won’t get there until you make a change.
Change is hard. We naturally resist it. We like what’s familiar–even if it’s not really working for us. We except the status quo and settle for a sub-par life.
But deep down you know you want something different. Something better. Maybe even something great.
Don’t accept the ways things are, just because it’s always been that way.
Think about the last five years of your life…your health, your job, your finances, your spending habits, your relationships. Do you like what you see? If you do–keep doing what you’re doing.
But if you don’t like what you see, nothing will change if you don’t change.
If you’ve felt like crap because of poor diet and lack of exercise for the last five years–you will still feel like crap five years from now if you don’t make a change.
If you don’t like the financial situation you’ve been in for the past five years–five years from now will still look the same if you don’t make a change.
We often want to wait for change to happen to us or hope that it will miraculously manifest itself.
“When the economy is better I’ll get out of debt.”
“When this person in my life changes, then I’ll be happy.”
“Someday my luck will change.”
“If I ever get offered a good job I’ll buy a ____.”
“Someday when I lose 10 lbs I’ll buy that dress.”
Then we sit.
And we wait for the magic moment.
And nothing happens.
You still feel like crap, you’re still in debt because of the same spending habits, you’re still living where you don’t wanna to live, driving what you don’t wanna to drive and working where you don’t wanna to work…all because you never took the first step to making a change.
Perhaps you’ve tried to change, but you quickly fall back into old habits. Then you beat yourself up about it and give up.
Stages of Change
Change is a process that we have to go through. Before we take action on a change we have to have gone through the contemplation and preparation stages of change.
All the stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Today I’m going to focus on contemplation and preparation.
Contemplation Stage of Change
During contemplation our consciousness has been raised about our need or desire to make a change. We become aware of the defenses that we have used and the resistances we have had to making the change.
We finally say, “I’ve had enough–I’m ready.”
During contemplation the pros of changing outweigh the cons. You may be wondering what kinds of cons can there be to positive change?
There can be many.
Friends and family often don’t receive it well when someone wants to change–especially if that change involves a behavior that they may have shared with you such as smoking, drinking or eating styles/habits. It’s very common for family members to try and sabotage someone’s efforts to change.
Some other cons that we perceive about change are fear of embarrassment if we fail, that it takes time and fear.
Preparation Stage of Change
Here’s where you intend to make the change. You make a plan of action and decide what steps need to be taken to change. This is when you should develop a support network for your change and decide what will help motivate you.
Setting a time frame for your change is important. Don’t delay beginning your change.
Tell others about your change. Public commitments are more powerful than secret ones.
Now you’re ready to take action on your change.
If you don’t go through the stages of change, the likelihood of successful change is decreased. That’s why many people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions. They make them in haste and jump straight to the action stage of change without having gone through contemplation and preparation.
We all have an intuition about the direction our lives should take. Don’t wait for the magic moment because it will never come.
Live the life you were born to live. Become aware of what you need to change in order to live it.
Trust your intuition and begin your process of change today.
Have you found success in making change? What struggles did you face while going through the process?