Are you Ready?

By Mary Cioffi

Are you Ready (to really change for good)?

You may have thought about changing for a long time, whether it’s quitting a habit like smoking or late-night snacking in front of the television, and recently you decided to stop thinking and just go for it.  Good for you! This is evidence that you are seriously contemplating change, the second step of what research shows are the six steps necessary to achieve lasting change. Now is the time to make sure you are successful by crushing step three, Preparation! 

Readiness to change is something that we may assume we have achieved during contemplation, but it’s important to slow down and make sure you are in fact ready. It is critical to success that you do not rush this process. Readiness to change is part of the essential Preparation stage.

To get ready you will need to understand the pros and cons associated with your  decision to change and connect these reasons to your values (your “why”), then identify potential obstacles before moving to the action phase.  

A leader in the field Margaret Moore with  Wellness Coaches has developed a graphic Pyramid called the Mounting Lasting Change model that uses evidence-based  scientific research in the field of behavioral and cognitive psychology to illustrate the steps necessary to create lasting behavioral change. The pyramid is made up of building blocks starting from the foundation that you assemble one or more at a time at your own pace.

Even if you are not planning on changing yourself but you know someone who is, understanding this model can help you to support them in their journey to a better life. 

Key questions to explore when you are planning to change include 

  • What is the reason you seek change?
  • Can you envision how your life would be if you made this change? 

These questions are the “why” in your decision to change. An example of a why may be: 

  • I want to stop smoking so I am healthier and can live to see my grandkids grow up. 

The pros or reasons why are linked to your values and what is most meaningful to you and form a critical part of the foundation of your effort to change. 

Without knowing why changing is important to you, it is  unlikely you’ll have the motivation to stick with the plan. Just like building the foundation for a new house, this stage should not be rushed and may take some time to complete. The rest of the pyramid depends on the stability of the base.

Next you’ll want to explore the obstacles you have faced in the past or think you will face.

These are the “cons”, also critical building blocks in your effort to change and part of that strong foundation you are creating. For example:

  • My husband /wife/partner smokes and it has been impossible for me to be in the room with them and not give in to my urge to light  up.

Moving up the pyramid, perhaps the most important block in the level above foundation asks how confident you are in your ability to change. Due to past failed attempts or large obstacles that seem insurmountable, a person may feel hopelessness or a lack of belief in themselves that they can change.  On a scale of 1-10 it is important before advancing to the next level in the pyramid that confidence level is at 7 or 8. This one thing is a key predictor of success.

A Life Coach can help guide you through this work, and climb the pyramid gradually, while building up your confidence to give you the best for success. You are not alone with a good First Mate to help you on your journey.

Schedule a complimentary discovery call to get started.

Know you need a change, but not sure what?

Easily find the problem! Download the Pillars of a Balanced Life worksheet to rate your life from 1 to 10 in ten unique categories.