Now that you have identified the areas of your Wheel of Life that need attention, let’s think about how to make changes to those spokes. There are 5 steps to change.
The first step is the state where you are somewhere between denying that there needs to be a change and admitting that you need to improve some areas. I call this stage the Thinking stage. Maybe your spoke is the physical spoke and you are thinking about whether you need to exercise more. In state one, you move from denying that you need any change to acknowledging that you need to add movement to your life.
Squatting to Rise
The second stage is the planning stage. In this stage, you plan for the change, research the change and prepare to change. Maybe you look into a gym membership or hire a personal trainer. You could also find one of those couch-to-5k plans for running. You might also go shopping for new workout shoes or clothes. This is the Ziglar stage of “squatting to rise”. He warns, be careful not to get cooked in the squat.
The third stage is simply called START. This stage starts the action. I think of this like Fred Flintstone in his foot-propelled car. When he wanted to go somewhere, his feet would start going, but he wouldn’t move any at first. That’s what this stage is about. You can’t get frustrated if there’s no movement in this stage. The important part is that you are taking action to change.
This is the most important stage of change, the Action stage. This is the stage of change that lasts the longest. This is where Fred Flintstone starts moving forward, but only as long as his feet keep churning. Here, you have to keep churning. When I am in this stage of change, I think of some high school cheerleaders on my shoulders cheering, “Action! Action! We want action! A-C-T clap, clap, clap I-O-N!”
The last stage of change is the maintenance stage. You have changed. You have accomplished your goal. But you can’t completely fall back to where you were. This is the maintenance stage. You have to tread water at your new place. If you let off the gas, you will backslide. Then you’ll find yourself back at stage one, either denying that you’ve backslid or contemplating how to change again.
What changes are you making in 2018? What stage of change are you in? Have you backslid on some changes you made in the past and having to start over now?