Your state of readiness is how ready you are to implement change in your life. This can be change in any aspect of your life such as losing weight, finding a new job, or simply getting a haircut. People tend to have a higher level of readiness for the small changes like getting your hair cut. This is because it is something they probably do often and is not anything drastic. But something like finding a new job because your current one stresses you out might be a bit more difficult. While it would be beneficial to your health to reduce the stress in your life by switching jobs, it can be a big change that a lot of people might not be ready for. This is important because it effects everyone from toddlers learning to walk to adults trying to find a new job. People tend to not like change even if they know it is going to benefit them.
5 Stages of Readiness
Everyone falls into one of five Readiness Stages regarding their overall readiness to implement change.
- Pre-Contemplation is the stage in which an individual is not ready to change behavior in the near future, usually measured as the next 6 months. Precontemplators are often characterized as resistant and tend to avoid information, discussion, or thought with regard to the targeted health behavior.
- Contemplation is the stage individuals openly state their intent to change within the next 6 months. They are more aware of the benefits of changing, but remain aware of the costs. Contemplators are often seen as undecided to change or as procrastinators.
- Preparation is the stage in which individuals intend to take steps to change, usually within the next month. This is viewed as a transition stage, with individuals intending progress in the next 30 days.
- Action is the stage in which an individual has made intentional lifestyle modifications.
- Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and work to retain their attained gains
Tips to Increase Your State of Readiness
Four tips to increase your state of readiness and make yourself more comfortable with change.
- Release Your Attachment – Let go of what is keeping you from making a change, step out of your comfort zone and embrace new possibilities that could come your way. For example, if you are struggling to lose weight because of your sweet tooth. Let go of those sweets that make you feel comfortable and think about all the things that losing weight could do for you.
- Define the Outcome – Ask yourself what making this change is going to do for you. List all the things that are going to benefit you from making this change. For example, if finding a new job would decrease the stress in your life.
- Know Your Style – Whether you are trying to make big changes or small changes any kind of change is a step in the right direction. If you are feeling very timid start with making small changes and build your way up to those bigger life changing changes.
- Become Resilient to Change – Do not let change bring you down, often changes happen that we were not expecting, and it is important to deal with those changes and not let them break us. Or let them make us believe that change is bad because it’s not. For example, if you unexpectedly get laid off at work. Do not let it break you, remain calm and figure out the best ways to move forward.