Carol the Coach: Are You Willing to Do What it Takes?

Women want strategies to change things about their behavior but many times they don’t want to do the things that are necessary to bring about change.  The dilemma is that they are not ready to make the personal alterations in their lives that will support results.

When clients come in and describe their situations, I have a series of questions that I ask to remind them that the " desired strategies" are behavioral changes that they will need to implement to insure life-long success

 Does this sound like you? If so, read on and assess your willingness to do the work.

 ·         Are you ready to change?

·         Are you willing to do what it takes to change? 

·         What can you do to become personally responsible for your change?

 To determine your willingness requires some introspection. I would ask that you to spend at least an hour pondering the question, "Am I really ready to change?"  If you can answer with a resounding “Yes” then you need to assess are you willing to do “the hard stuff” to effect change?

Unfortunately, about 60% of the people who come in for an initial consultation want to change, but they are not willing to do what it takes to change.  They are hoping for painless strategies that will make it easier to change. The problem is that change is rarely easy or painless. It is a lot of hard work!

Did you know that it will increase the likelihood of success by at least 80% if clients who want to lose weight, will write down everything they eat in a food journal?  Unfortunately, many clients aren't willing to make tough behavioral changes that require discipline.  They want an easier formula to make weight loss happen.   Unfortunately, goal-setting is rarely easy.

I recently met with a middle-aged woman who was easily frustrated and reported having to deal with ongoing stress.  I explained that I could teach her skills like deep breathing and progressive relaxation to manage her stress.  In a disheartened tone she stated "I want you to help me alleviate the stress.  I don't want to learn how to manage it! She was clearly not ready to change.

 Lastly, are you willing to change your mindset so that you stay enthused about the change? 

 Can you look at change as an opportunity for personal growth?  Can you get enthused about substituting your behaviors?  Can you create a positive structure to support the new paradigm?  Whenever you embark on change you need to meet it with enthusiasm and energy.  If you go into it with a negative outlook it will sabotage your long-term success.   Altering your mindset is paramount to creating change. 

Your homework for the next month is to think of one small change you would like to make in your life.  Then, find some quiet time and ask yourself the following:

  • Am I ready to change?

  • Am I willing to do what it takes to make the change happen?

  • Am I ready to look at it with a positive attitude, focusing on the energy and excitement that it can generate?

If you can't answer those three questions affirmatively, you may not be ready to change.  Don't put the cart before the horse. Although wanting to change is a prerequisite for being able to make the very important behavioral changes; assessing whether you are ready to do what it takes is essential for success.