6 steps to plan when you want to change

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October 28, 2016

6 steps to plan when you want to change

In 1977, graduating from Simmons College (wondering how to get a job using what I learned), James Prochaska and his colleagues were developing a revolutionary new theory at the University of Rhode Island. How people change. It was called the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), which suggested that those who successfully changed the behavior would go through six stages.

* Precontemplation: I do not intend to take any action soon. You may not know what the problem is.

* Ponder (in preparation): Be aware of the problem and begin to compare the pros and cons of behavior change.

Preparation: We will take immediate action. You start to plan for change and take a small step toward change.

* Action: We are now modifying the behavior.

Maintenance: Changed successfully and is working to prevent recurrence.

* Termination (this step is optional and not everyone acquires it): We are no longer tempted by previous actions and do not consider returning.

Prochaska et. Al. His emphasis was on helping to fix harmful habits such as smoking and overeating, but his change model can also be applied to the business world.

An example of the steps in action are:

Stephanie hired me because he was in the process of setting up his own marketing company. She works full time at work all day and works 40 hours a week to build her own company. Understandably, she was getting tired. But she could not consider quitting her old job until she could support her and her family with new things.

Stephanie was in the pre-planning stage. She felt something was wrong, but she did not know what to do about it.

I entrusted Stephanie to imagine her life and her daily life when she could concentrate on her new business. How did her actions represent her value? Could she be her real self in a new role?

Stephanie has entered a deliberation phase by visualizing what it is all about concentrating energy on a new business. She began to appreciate the benefits (and risks) of taking this big step in her career.

Next, I asked Stephanie what should happen before she left the full-time job. In the next session I was devoted to reviewing her vision and making steps to bring her up including timetables. Stephanie went to the preparation stage. Now she is ready to move into action.

What we have learned from reviewing Prochaska’s models and working with customers is that there are processes and change orders. The actions you need to take depend on the steps currently in progress. I have time to sort out my thoughts. Explore the pros and cons and take time to deal with whether changes are possible to reach others for input, commute to date and time to fill stakes.

Consider the following when you strive to achieve the goals that need change this year. If you can not make a decision about what you need to do, the favor of change may not be more important than the disadvantage. The suffering that is being held does not get worse than the discomfort of change. Maybe the time is not right. Sometimes you have to go back one or two steps in the process. Sometimes you just have to jump over that barrier.

You can take a more careful approach to change by knowing where you are in the process of change and using that knowledge to support you.

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