Assess My Stage of Change
Change unfolds over time in distinct steps: Psych (get ready), Prep (prepare before leaping), Perspire (take action), Persevere (manage slips), and Persist (maintain change). The keys to successful self-change entail recognizing your step and then doing the right thing at that step.
There are multiple ways to measure your stage, most of them requiring lengthy questionnaires employed in our research studies. Fortunately, we have determined that a few quick questions followed by your honest answers can reliably assess your stage.
Let’s identify your step for a single problem and then more broadly for multiple goals in your life.
To identify your step for a single behavior, ask yourself: Am I seriously intending to change that problem within the next 90 days? If not, you are classified as a precontemplator and not yet ready for Changeology. If you reply that you are seriously considering changing the problem in the next three months, then you are in Psych for that goal. If you intend to take action in the next month, you reside in Prep. If you are currently changing it, then you are already in Perspire. If you are dealing with the inevitable slips and struggles of self- change, you are in Persevere. Finally, if you are ensuring the long term success of your new, healthier lifestyle, you are in the Persist stage.
Or, if you prefer, answer this question with a follow-up question for a particular problem:
Do I currently have a problem with ______________? (If yes, then you’re in Psych, Prep, or Perspire. If no, then you’re either not ready for Changeology or you’re in Persist.)
If yes, when will you change it? (Someday = Psych; In the next few weeks =Prep; Right now = Perspire).
If no, what leads you to say that? (Because it’s not a problem for me = Changeology is not yet for you; Because I have already changed it = Persist.)
Remember: you may wish to change, but that is quite different from seriously considering or intending to change. Keep the self-assessment real by sticking with your actual, recent behavior.