Preparation - Getting ready to change

By: Dr. Neil Stafford Posted On Jun 11, 2017

Preparation - Getting ready to change

The third stage of change is about getting ready. We've recognized there is a problem. We started to think about the problem. It leads us to see how it impacts our lives, and there is a desire to make it better. The desire for improvement pushes us to take the next step, and gather the information and tools we need to make the change. We are getting ready to make a change.

I want to take a side step here for a moment. The desire for change can come from within us (internal), or it can be from outside us (external). The external motivations for change might be someone we're in a relationship with, money, a new job, our children. They can and are great motivations for change. Yet, they aren't as powerful as the internal ones. When the going gets tough the external motivators are not in our minds pushing us to not quit today. The internal motivations for change are there with us. They are powerful because they are in our mind every moment. I want to change because it's important to me. If we can find internal motivations during the preparation stage then we will have powerful during the next stage.

Back to getting ready. In the preparation phase we have realized we want/need to change, but maybe we don't know how or what is the best way. I want to get healthier. I want to stay sober. I want to have a more loving relationship. I want to stop being angry or depressed. I want to move up the career ladder. These are great, but we need to know which path to take. So, we go out and gather information. Maybe we read a book, talk to a friend, or find someone who has experience in the direction we want to go.

This is an important step we don't want to skip. There have been times where I want to change, and the next day start trying to make it happen. Yet, I run into a ton of obstacles I wasn't prepared for, or I "run too fast" and run out of steam by the end of the week. We need to prepare. We can look through history, and see all of the greats spent time preparing to do their great deeds. Jesus, Paul, Luther, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Carl Jung, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Buddha, Shakespeare, and on and on. (Forgive the randomness of my list. They all just showed up in my mind that way.) They all spent time preparing before the embarked on their great works. We should, too. Gather information from wise places. This will help in our next phase of action. We will be prepared for what's to come.

TAGS: Transtheoretical Model (TTM Or "Stages Of Change"), Individuation, Emotional Growth and Development
About the Author
Dr. Stafford is a clinical psychologist with 11 years experience. His primary experience is with children and families in private practice, and 10 years in the Avondale Elementary School District. Dr. Stafford has earned certification in school psychology, and is the training director for an internship program for school psychologist. Beyond these activities, Dr. Stafford works with adults in his private practice on a broad range of issues including depression and anxiety. He also has interests in the integration of faith and psychology as well as the development of the individual through interpersonal neurobiology.

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