Welcome to my series on managing and moving through change – the health, positive kind of change. Enjoy! This series is meant to accompany the Video: Improving Your Life Using the Stages of Change. Be sure to watch that first to get the most out of these articles.
I’m delighted to guide your progress through the Preparation stage the third of five stages of change. This stage is one of the most critical for a successful long-term change to happen.
You’re probably in the Preparation stage if you’ve been thinking about making a change and you’re feeling some confidence toward changing that habit or behavior. You’ve considered the Pros and Cons, started figuring out who can help provide moral support for this change and you are mentally “preparing” to take action on that new habit. But, are you really ready to take action? Have you found a clear motivation that compels you toward making a positive change?
This stage will determine how successful and lasting your behavior change will be. How much you “prepare” allows you to handle all the possible setbacks you may encounter when you take action.
Just like preparing for a journey before taking the first step on it, you need to prepare for all the possible roadblocks as you navigate your way toward taking action. This means both internally and physically – such as creating your SOS: supplies, options and support.
When you take time to “mentally” commit, before you “physically” commit any actions, you’ll have a much more successful change experience. It may take a few months to work out all these critical pieces before moving to the next stage of actually taking action.
Follow these step to guide you through this stage and prepare you for the Action Stage:
Change – Exchange Guide
Step 1 – Supplies: What supplies/equipment do I need to make this change?
Step 2 – Options: What’s my action plan – what are my potential roadblocks and what are my options for getting past them?
Step 3 – Who can help me past my potential roadblocks? Who will help me stay accountable?
Remember, wherever you are in the process of Change, you can make progress.
In the next article, I look forward to guiding you through the action phase!
Dr. Wendy Guess has studied and taught behavioral change for over 20 years. She has expertise in the promotion, communication, and marketing of health, wellness, and fitness across a variety of platforms and settings. Currently, Dr. Guess teaches Health and Fitness Marketing, Marketing Research & Marketing Management. She conducts consulting and training workshops to provide insights, tools, and resources for professionals and leaders who want to help others make positive behavior changes, many using her favorite topic: Social Dance.