Wednesday, May 18, 2005

How to change your life

I have been reading a great book recently "It's your life. What are you going to do with it?" by Anthony Grant PhD and Jane Greene.

It is a book about how to be your own life coach. Every piece of advice is practical and based on research. I recommend giving it a read if you have any unfulfilled goals.

One gem I have taken away from it so far (and it is typical of this book that the advice seems obvious once you hear it) is...

If you want to make a change in your life, there are several phases that you go through.
* Preconception - before you start thinking of making a change.
* Contemplation
* preparation
* Action - start to take steps
* Maintenance - conscious effort required to follow new behavior (leading to relapse or termination)
* Relapse - fall back to old habits (leading back to Contemplation)
* Termination - The new behavior is now part of your personality

So.. You can help make changes be facing each of these phases full on.
When it occurs to you that you should change something evaluate the pro's and con's on paper. This will help you decide if you really want to make the change. This will lead you quickly to the preparation stage. Plan what changes you want to make to achieve your goal. Make them attainable and measurable. This readies you for Action. Put in place your plans. Measure your progress in a way that you can visibly see how you are getting on. By measuring how you are progressing you can use feedback to adjust your goals to ensure they are attainable. This will help you enter the Termination stage. Even if you don't attain your original goal, from this new position your original goal may now be attainable. Relapse is expected and is not failure. Don't beat yourself up for it. Return to Contemplation and reevaluate your original reasons for wanting to make the change. This is where having defined a good list of pro's and con's at the beginning will help. Review them. If they are still correct then this should help get you quickly back to preparation. Take the time to reevaluate the plans you previously made. Adjust them if they are not measurable and attainable.

and repeat.
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