Coming to the decision to make changes is a process and there are many signs you need a major life change such as feelings and thoughts of burnout, frustration, depression, chronic unhappiness, etc. It takes time to decide that thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes need to shift and it can take some openness to admit. Asking yourself the question is ready to change can be helpful. It’s rare that a light bulb goes off and your mind makes the swift decision to change. It’s more likely that you’ll go through a process before making the final decision. As a matter of fact, there is a cycle that everyone goes through on their way to deciding to change. If you’ve been considering changing your habits and have identified that you are ready to change, you are likely somewhere on the scale. Although signs you need a major life change vary the process of change remains the same. It looks like this-
Pre-contemplation- Way before people make the final decision to change, they get inklings, warnings, nudges, or bits of insight that a change may be a good idea. These may be signs you need a major life change- you do not like your job, your relationships, your attitude, you emotionally or mentally do not feel your best just to name a few. In this phase of the cycle, there is likely no intention to make changes only the pre-thought that perhaps a change is in order. This can also be a phase when others make comments, give feedback, or share concerns that they have that indicate you may need to evaluate the need to change and people can sometimes ask themselves or each other are you ready to change?
Contemplation- This phase begins when the inkling to change starts to grow. This is a dynamic stage because the mind is often at war with the benefits of changing versus the benefits of keeping things the same. Signs you need a major life change grows as you become more unwilling to tolerate the stress or burden of the thing you need to change. Perhaps you fight with your partner more or become less and less interested to come to work. Until the benefits of change outweigh the benefits of changing, there likely won’t be any commitment to changing habits but you can still be questioning are ready to change in your mind.
Preparation- When change seems like a proper next step, preparation begins. Time frames may be set or actions may be triggered. You have decided that the signs you need to make a life change have become obvious and you are now ready to make the leap. Now you need to get set up This could look like joining a gym, signing up for a meal delivery service, or making an appointment with a holistic doctor. Planning for action is the natural step that precedes changing habits. No longer are you asking yourself are you ready to change you are actively seeking change.
Action- The action phase can be lengthy or quite short depending on how much time it takes to internalize the new habits. This is a tough time because the action and implementation of new habits reveal roadblocks and things can easily fall back into old patterns. Sometimes you forget all the original signs that you needed a major life change and have stopped asking yourself the question are you ready to change because in your mind you have already started the process. Keeping your purpose that eh top of mind is always helpful to keep you motivated during the process of action.
Maintenance- Once enough action has taken place and the new habits are routine and automatic, it’s all about maintaining the rhythm and keeping up the good work. The signs that you need a major life change have dwindled and now you are fully engaged in your new lifestyle, habit, or life experience. This can take some time to get to, some suggest 21 days, 45 days, and even some say it takes even longer than that. Once you have reached this point, it is easy, you can incorporate the habit with ease and minimal effort.
Note: Be prepared to re-cycle.
At any time during the process, it’s possible to break the cycle and re-cycle through again. It’s normal. It’s normal to forget to ask yourself are you ready for a change? Sometimes, it takes longer to move through the cycle in one phase and shorter in another. Everyone has their own pace. Once changes become permanent and the experience of change has normalized it gets easier to make changes in the future because you know what works best for you at each stage of the cycle.
You can gauge your readiness for change by finding yourself on the scale. Be confident that change will happen when the time is right. If you need tips, help, and support we are always there for you with classes, courses, consultations, and more.