At some point, life’s crossroads create an opportunity for us to make changes for the better. Sometimes we are not 100% ready to make those changes but know that we need to do things differently. For example, deciding to prioritise to-do lists for work or to practice relaxation exercises in our lunch break or to eat healthy food at least for one meal a day or to spend more time with family.
It is important to stay realistic and make changes one step at a time as it can become overwhelming and feel like it is beyond our control. At times like this it can be helpful to focus on something that we can control. Making changes to develop more useful patterns of behaviour requires focus, effort and repetition.
Below is a basic map to help track change:
- I don’t know or want to know. You don’t see a problem or need to change. Others efforts to convince you of a need for change are generally ineffective.
- I’m thinking about it. You see that there’s a problem you want to get some control over, you’re evaluating the pros and cons. Others hear you talking about problem/s and options.
- I want to, I’m getting ready. You are ready to change and make things happen. Others help through encouragement and strengthening your motivation.
- I’m doing it. You’re taking active steps to modify your behaviour and/or environment: in your own unique way.
- I’m staying on track. Change has been made and maintained for a few months. Although, there are occasional ‘bumps’ in the road, you refuse to be derailed and know what it takes to stay on track.