We all experience change in our lives. Sometimes the change is one we want, like giving up some bad habits or changing careers. Sometimes it is changes we don’t want, like losing a job or a loved one.
I’m going to write about the changes we choose to make in our lives. Many people will decide to make a change but either can’t or won’t follow through and make the change permanent. I believe this is because they didn’t follow the “change process.”
Yes, just like there is a process for almost everything, there is a five-step process for change. The five steps we all must do to ensure change are: Awareness, Understanding, WIIFM, Commitment and Habit.
Awareness is the “what and why” of our change. What is it that we want to change and why do we want to change. Say, for instance, you want to be a better husband. Think about what can make you a better husband and why you want to be better.
Understanding is the “how and when” of our change. Without understanding how we are going to implement the change, we have no way of starting. In my example, how are you going to be a better husband? Will you help your wife more, compliment her more or just be a nicer guy, and when will I start?
The next step, WIIFM, is a very important step. WIIFM stands for “what’s in it for me.” Without a reason for you to change, you won’t change. So knowing what you get for changing is as important as the change itself. By being a better husband, maybe you get a better relationship overall or maybe just sharing more fun together.
After you know the WIIFM, the next thing is Commitment. It is what you tell yourself about you commitment to change. It’s your internal agreement to follow though.
The final step is Habit, and it is the step that ensures your change sticks. There is a saying that says if you do anything for 21 days it will become a habit. That is what you need to do to make sure your change becomes part of you. Make an effort to do it everyday until it become habit.
The next time you want to change something, remember the five steps of the change process. Use awareness, understanding, WIIFM, commitment and habit, and you will find you change to be much easier.
Steve Smith, a Ramona resident, invites readers to send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org