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.
There are so many things to “contemplate” about changing a habit or behavior; like is it really worth the effort; do the pros really outweigh the cons? Are there too many things going on in life that get in the way of moving forward? Have you’ve attended personal development seminars or read self-help books, and then the change doesn’t happen? With all the mixed messages from experts, media or friends confusing you, it probably seems easier to decide not to decide.
Does that sound like you? If so, you could be in the Contemplation stage, the 2nd of the five stages of change.
Let’s face it, even though you’ve been weighing the pros and cons, having doubts make it easier to put off that decision. To really make a successful positive change, and get it right – you’ll want to remind yourself that change is a journey.
In the Pre-contemplation video of this series, [annotation], we created a list of Pros and Cons to changing and reflected on our attitudes toward them. Let’s continue on this journey by considering your own strengths that could support you through the process. Remember, you still aren’t taking any real action yet. Use the following steps to guide you:
Change Exchange Guide
Step 1 – The PROs
Continue gathering information (articles, videos) that provide compelling reasons for changing that behavior and will prepare your mind for the change. When your attitude is aligned with the change, it will be easier to “see” yourself in the new “changed” image.
Step 2 – Mirror, Mirror On the Wall
Take some time to really “reflect” and continue looking for any feelings, attitudes or thoughts you are holding onto so you can start letting go of the CONs and start focusing on the PROs. Because, whatever you focus on, that’s what you’ll see more of.
Step 3 – The Wind Beneath Your Wings or Who’s Got Your Back?
Remind yourself of changes you’ve made in the past that were successful. Thinking about someone else who’s been through the same change helps you realize that you can change also. This could be a friend, relative or someone you look up to. Who do you WANT to be, related to this change?
You really can make a change by continuing the journey through the stages. Wherever you are in the process of Change, you can make progress.
In the next article, I look forward to guiding you through the preparation 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.