Could you be stuck in preparation Mode?

Preparing over and over again, in this way, that way, yet not really taking the action that’s going to get results required?

I know I have been there with lifestyle change and I am still thinking about giving up coffee. I have bought lots of exotic teas, but I still forget to drink them. The latest example of me being stuck in prep mode has been getting started on the new website, it’s taken me 6 months. I have had a plan, felt inspired and yet the action of it has been a while coming and it still needs work. It’s time consuming but I know it’s past the stage of not getting finished. It’s bugging me too much not to get it done, though I have to rely on other people too and my brain can only think a certain amount at a time.

I come across people stuck in preparation or even in “analysis paralysis” a lot in my coaching when it comes to making a lasting lifestyle change.

There is the person who has tried this diet, that diet, all of them, yet still does not lose weight, the next diet though is going to be different…

The person who procrastinates when it’s time for the action that will get them their desired results “There’s just so much other stuff going on all the time”.

The person who has bought self help book and another and another, yet still has the same challenge at the same level as when they bought their first book. They do know a lot about self help though, which is a positive. None of this is wrong by the way, but it’s missing that extra step needed to make change a reality.

And there is the person who buys all the fitness gear, yet it’s never been worn! It looks good in the wardrobe though, fresh and ready to go…anytime now.

Or there is the person who pays for a gym membership and never goes, it feels better to have one though than not and it’s good to tell your friends that you’re a member of a gym right?

Why do we do this? and why do we get stuck here?

For me, if I am honest, there have been times in the past when doing the preparation was enough to make me feel better, like I was doing something and because I felt better than I had done, but I didn’t do anymore and start the real action. Then time would pass, sometimes a lot of time, and after 6 months or so I was back to square one, still in the same position and more fed up than before.

It took me a long time to work it out and I had to get really fed up to the point it was actually easier to make the change, or in a couple of cases with me, a crisis or life changing event kicked me into action.  I look back and tut at myself for all the time wasted on this, but heyho  I know better now. The honest issue here for me was that, really I doubted my ability to make the change. I wish I could have hired the Me that I am now to get that old me out of the funk quicker and easier, because knowing what I know now I definitely would have hired the present Me, as none of it was as bad as I thought it would be. Hindsight though is wonderful.

So much the journey I had  been on and why I found it so hard to change began to make a lot of sense when I trained in lifestyle behaviour change. All this stuff of going round in circles, stopping and starting, or constantly getting prepared and not actually starting I realised wasn’t me being a weak person. All it is, is being stuck on one of the levels of behaviour change and there are ways to get past this.

The trouble is that if you don’t know how to get past it then over time it can really effect your self esteem and self belief. Sometimes to the point where you ultimately just give up altogether on your hopes and dreams.

However, the preparation stage of a change is needed. It really is a crucial part of the change process.

Just doing it before you are emotionally ready and properly prepared may be one of the fastest ways to sabotage your success. Many of us who jump into action, high on a dose of motivation end up falling in and out of it again and again. If you find yourself constantly preparing in one way or another and not really fully engaging in the behaviours that will get you your desired results, then here are some things to try, so you are emotionally and mentally ready to take on a lifestyle change and avoid quick fix results.

Ask yourself  ‘Are you concerned about leaving behind familiar patterns’?

Have you misjudged your readiness to change? Look at how you feel internally, rather than external circumstances (there will be always be an excuse to find there).  Sometimes it can feel safer or even more exciting to stay in possibility mode. A shift in daily habits would mean a re-invention of how you see yourself. Have you addressed that?

Is there any conflicting thinking going on? Uncertainty? Hesitation? Indecisiveness?  If so address these first as something needs resolving.

There has got to be a commitment to change and a belief change is possible

How confident are you that you can do it, despite difficulties?

Are your goals consistent or do they conflict with other goals?

Get honest with yourself. Who can support you? What would help you?

When all the above is resolved, you are ready for action and the first action is picking a specific date, marking it on your calender, with a time to start your change. Sorting out childcare or anything else that may be needed, wearing the sports clothes and using them, booking that appointment/class, making that call. Whatever the next action step is, it is time to just do it and make a commitment! You’re ready for it now, so damn well grab that opportunity with both hands and seize the day.

Remember, a small shift in daily habits and tiny behaviours, repeated consistently, is what makes success inevitable. Dream big, start small, repeat, repeat, repeat. If you have a failure, get back up and keep going.  Work with where you are now and with what you have got now and keep at it.

In my experience, the biggest barrier to change is the misjudgement of focusing on the costs, rather than the benefits.

I would love to know if there is anything you are planning to change and if there is anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate to contact me at jayne@jaynespenceleywellbeing.com

AND! If you haven’t done so already then your first step to making a long lasting lifestyle change, whatever it might be from loosing weight, kicking a bad habit, getting fit enough to run your first 5km, anything, then click the link below and fill in your details to receive my 4 Step Process to a Life of Health and Happiness: CLICK HERE