Right now, you are at some point on the cycle of change.
Pre-contemplation: I don’t believe I have a problem. (oblivious)
Contemplation: Hhhm… Maybe I do have a problem, but I’m not sure I feel like doing anything about it yet. (ambivalent)
Decision: Enough is enough! I’m going to make a change right now and start preparing for this to happen! (determined)
Action: I’m getting the help and support and resources I need to change. (focused)
Maintenance: I now know what I need to do and know that I am capable of these actions. I still need help and support sometimes, but I’m relatively self reliant and consistent. (committed)
Lapse: I am starting to think and act like the “old” me sometimes. (frustrated)
Which then leads you back to the top again. (If I were a graphic designer, this would be in a fancy little circle, but I’m not as talented some of you in that area!)
This cycle holds true with any type of lasting habit change whether it involves eating, exercising, spending or using your time wisely. I’m sharing this with you so that you can get perspective on where you stand right now.
If you’re in the pre-decision phases, nothing will change outwardly until you make a choice inwardly to get help. Also, it’s important that you recognize lapse is not a sign of failure, doom or incompetence. It’s simply a sign that you’ve gotten off track and need to recalibrate your thoughts and actions and get help, if needed. Once you do this, you can more quickly move through the phases and get back to maintenance.
Even time coaches have lapses. But they don’t last for long.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through coaching and training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.