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Determining Readiness to Change:

Updated on September 1, 2012


My previous Hub ("Goals: A Strategy for Success") discussed the Importance and Confidence tool to rate the individual perception of themselves for achieving a goal. The closer the two match (importance and confidence) the more likelihood of success.

The tool encouraged intermittent assessment and modification of the steps individuals designed for themselves to attain their goal. Steps documented in a log are measured for effectiveness at timed intervals.

The intention of the strategy is to build self confidence or compliance towards achievement.



This article will discuss readiness for change. Change encompasses various stages that individuals experience as we move forward towards a goal. The importance and confidence tool can and should be implemented in all the stages of change.

Determining readiness for change is important and applies to all goals.

There are research and literature available for further information. And I encourage further study.


The stages that determine readiness for change:
There are 5 stages that determine a readiness to change.


Pre-contemplation
Wanting but not acting upon the behaviors to change.
Contemplation
Beginning to think about behaviors to change.
Plan
Making a plan of action to change behaviors.
Action
Implementing the behaviors with concrete actions.
Maintenance
Goal reached and behaviors maintained.

The following scenario illustrates the progression of each stage of readiness for change.

You are unhappy at your job. Going to work is becoming more difficult and dissatisfying.You feel that something needs to be done to improve your situation, but quitting is not an option. Yet you feel that the only way to improve your attitude is to leave your place of employment.Therefore you are pre-contemplating a change, but have not acted upon the change.

As your unhappiness accelerates you begin to contemplate that you would like to quit and find a new job. You’re thinking about making the change.

You design a plan of action to make the change. Your plan entails concrete steps and behaviors to reach your goal of finding a new job. The plan includes:

1. Checking resources and job postings in your area of expertise.

2. Updating your resume.

3. Checking community colleges for classes to update skills to improve marketability.

4. Networking through social websites such as Face book and Twitter.

Once a plan is in place you act and actively pursue finding a new job. You implement your plan and follow through with actions to accomplish changing jobs.You actively network the social sites, you’ve sent resumes to several companies, are taking a class to update skills, and have job interviews. You are moving forward.

Ultimately your plan of action leads to a successful outcome/change of finding and maintaining a new job that makes you happy.



Progression though each stage involves identifying obstacles and successes. Documentation is crucial to see what works and what does not. Documentation also reinforces confidence and compliance to changes that you are trying to accomplish.

Using the importance and confidence log is helpful at each stage of behavior change. The log is a visual that allows for modification of each stage as you move forward towards reaching your goals.



In summary, a job change is a very concrete example to illustrate the stages that determine a change in behavior. And one can move through each stage very quickly.

Abstract behaviors such as attempting to loose weigh, smoking cessation, attempting to exercise daily are more difficult to change. They require willpower and commitment. It is not unusual to vacillate between stages of change numerous times before reaching and maintenance of the goal…“To fall off the wagon so to speak”.

Don’t give up. Knowledge of the stages of change makes reaching your goals much easier and attainable. That is why documentation and modification is so important.

Holding oneself accountable can be accomplished using the log from the importance and confidence tool. It is one strategy that prevents “getting stuck” at a stage of change.


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