This is Part 2 of the Change Series guest post by Psychology Doctoral Candidate @galfrankie
Part 1 can be found Here.
CHANGE: Stage 2, Contemplation
Recap: Precontemplation is where we resist the most. Like I said before, we (whether consciously or not) try to maintain homeostasis, so we're not thinking ahead about what will happen after initiating change.
So, if you keep telling yourself that you're waiting for the 'right' moment to make a change (when things settle down with work, family, relationships, etc), that you need 'one' (hahah, is it ever really one??) last hedonistic hurrah, or that you're just not ready.... Chances are, you're NOT ready!
Does this mean I'm telling you to give up and that you CAN'T succeed? Absolutely not!
Just suggesting that you reexamine your state of mind before attempting to move forward.
When you DO start to actively think about making a change in your life, you're entering the Contemplation stage. This is when you recognize an issue you want to address, and develop an intention to change.
One of the most useful things you can do at this point is to try to identify the potential, REALISTIC outcomes of your intended change -- both positive AND negative. Weigh the pros and cons/risks and rewards/costs and benefits!
(I, personally, like making lists for this kind of thing!)
This can be a long process! There is SO much to consider.. Try asking yourself some open-ended questions! For example: Why do you want to change? How will you go about making the change? What areas of your life will the change impact? What compromises will you (and the others in your life) have to make?
Typically, once you've entered the Contemplation stage, you'll be ready to initiate change in 6 months or less. If that seems like a long time, ask yourself: How long have you been engaging in the current behavior you're intending to replace?
That should put some things into perspective!
Come back for stage 3!!