What’s In it For Me?: Making the Shift from Thinking to Doing!

Most people buy into making changes when the benefit of changing outweighs the benefit of remaining the same. In other words What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)? What’s In It For Me to quit my job? What’s In It For Me to start a new business? What’s In It For Me to leave a toxic relationship? What’s In It For Me to Eat Healthier and/or Exercise? What’s In It For Me to quit smoking or drinking? To some of you, making the decision to change these behaviors may seem like no brainers. Have you ever attempted to undo a behavior that you engaged in for months or even years? Inviting one to change a behavior that has become part of their daily routine can be a tall order. We are creatures of habit and we fight change!

Allow me to note the Stages of Change as a frame of reference in discussing the Change Process. There are 6 Stages of Change which include:

1.  Pre-Contemplation: Individual is not ready for change, does not view behaviors as problematic and has no intent to take action.

2.  Contemplation: Individual begins to view behavior as problematic and weighing the pros and cons of change.

3.  Preparation: Individual is ready, creating a game plan for change and begins to take small steps toward action.

4.  Action: Individual begins making noticeable changes and replaces problematic behaviors with healthier behaviors. **Back sliding and relapsing is normal in this phase. Coaches, mentors and counselors can assist individual in viewing this as an opportunity to get back to the drawing board and remember their motivation for wanting to change.

5.  Maintenance: Individual has taken action for at least 6 months and is working to prevent relapse.

6.  Termination: Individual has no temptation and does not see the benefit in reverting back to old behavior.

It is imperative to identify where an individual is in the stages of change. Some questions to consider when assessing one’s readiness to change include:

What would get in the way?

Why is this important?

What are your reasons for wanting to change?

What are some reasons for remaining the same?

What are some benefits of staying the same?

What are your concerns about staying the same?

What are the benefits of changing?

What are your concerns about changing?

As a practitioner, I invite many people to accept my invitation to change various behaviors through a technique known as accommodating and challenging. I accommodate to empathize with the struggle and offer support through a difficult process. I challenge by giving individuals an objective perspective and push them to do something different.

“It will get worse before it gets better” is a phrase often used to describe what most people experience in the change process. Hearing this phrase may sound invalidating to someone considering changing a behavior. Informing someone it will get worse is preparing them for the discomfort that comes along with change. Which brings us back to “What’s In It For Me” (to sacrifice my comfort).

I also like to describe the change process as scary in the beginning, messy in the middle and beautiful in the end. Everyone’s journey through the change process will look different. Some may experience bouts of joy, pain, clarity, confusion, relief, ambivalence, disappointment and defeat. All of these feelings are normal reactions to doing something different and pushing to get on the other side of change.

How long will it take for one to successfully change a behavior?

There is no time table for change, so we must have patience with ourselves. It is imperative to set realistic expectations about what you are willing and able to do. Expect to have setbacks, disappointments, relapses and failures. When experiencing these uncomfortable moments take some time to reflect on these questions: What lesson can I take from this setback? How can I get better at handling disappointments? Allow these experiences to enhance your toolbox for dealing with the unknown void best described as change. Embracing change is inevitable, growth is optional.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “Choices, Chances and Changes: You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”

Please share your thoughts and experiences in attempting to change your behavior or help someone to change their behavior.

Feel free to contact me to schedule a free 15 minute consultation @ vitaminchealing@gmail.com or Sharise.hemby@hihcounseling.com


14 thoughts on “What’s In it For Me?: Making the Shift from Thinking to Doing!

  1. For the most part, I welcome change. I won’t say I haven’t resisted some changes. Mostly when I take things too personally. My change focus os on my business- we are shifting a few things and are at the beginning which is harder. Looking forward to getting to the middle. Also shifting change around my eating & exercising. Now that winter seems gone, I want to make some changes.


  2. I totally get the messy in the middle part. I’ve learned that to clean out anything, the dirt has to come out and it’s going to get uncomfortable. AND not only for myself! Those surrounding me are sometimes the very people that hinder the success because they too, have to get out of the comfort zone. It’s a process for sure. Thanks for a great post. Added more to my toolbox! 🙂


  3. Otmara says:

    Powerful topic. Change is such a short word yet it represents so much. Change is needed in order to progress, to improve to grow, yet we are so afraid of it. Why? I’ve asked myself that so many times. We get into comfort zones and we forget to think about whether we are even happy. It becomes a routine and we stay in it because it is all we know. Or all we want to know because we are not ready to start over again. Absolutely love the stages you mentioned because they simplify how we categorize our lives. They are all so different yet crucial to moving on or staying stuck. I think we are so afraid of change because we don’t want to hurt others when at the end we are hurting them more because at times our inability to change also prevents others from doing the same. I think the beauty of life is living it at its full and we can’t do that if we stay in the same spot our entire lives.


  4. As a fixed sign (Aquarius-fixed air) I find I do not welcome change, unless I initiate it. For me, as an all or nothing kind of person, I make a decision to do something and just do it with no turning back. I’ve done this many times in my life (sometimes it was a long time coming) and other times it is just an instant choice and voila, the change is in place. One area I always remember is my giving up my Diet Pepsi “habit” many, many years ago. I made a decision one day to stop and just stopped. Cold turkey as they call it. I think personality type and lots of other factors come into play when working with people to encourage them to make a shift or change in their life.

    Not everyone can adopt to change as easily as others and it is important to understand the temperament of each individual and work with them as an individual. Change is a good thing, and yet for some people it brings up much fear of the unknown or not wanting to move out of their comfort zone. It sounds like you have created a deep understanding and a very effective way to working with others to ease them into choices and changes that will ultimately benefit them and their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I now welcome change. Earlier in my life I didn’t. I felt “safe” staying in the same state of mind. As I grew older, I realized that change meant new opportunities and welcomed them. My latest change was to improve my health even more than before. I’ve changed my eating habits, exercised more and in 8 weeks, shed 10 lbs, several inches and feel fabulous! YES! A change is good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You closed with a pertinent quote Sharise so it seems somewhat befitting to open with one of my favourites in respect of change: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin. I also loved your stages of change which is the exact model I use to help my clients bring about permanent change. I do like that you have highlighted the process of going through change and illustrate the hope of getting out alive! 🙂 It is important to point that out to readers so they know there’s something worthwhile at the end of the tunnel. Change is a good thing as your summarise, it is also a necessary thing and we see it in every facet of our lives. Change is inevitable, it is our response to change that determines our survival. Thank you for a thought-provoking read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jamil Bey says:

    Excellent piece. This gives me another tool to adopt in my work. While few folks look at life changes through the lens of a cost-benefit-analysis, it’s a very useful exercise. The difficulty, in my field, is that people can adapt and become comfortable in very unfortunate circumstances. It is difficult for them to imagine that things can be or that they deserve better.


  8. What I like most about your post, Sharise, is how you have explained that each step in the process of Change is not only acceptable, but necessary. You are helping your readers realize that each stage matters, and we can finally breathe a sigh of relief. It’s okay to be just starting to contemplate a new part of our lives, we’re completely not ready to deal with.. It’s also okay to be in a messy place. It’s time to embrace life, full of imperfect changes, leading to the bliss of being real and in the moment.


  9. change, it can be a pain in the behind sometimes. I’m a firm believer in if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. But I do know that change is important in some instances. It’s important to stop thinking about doing something and actually doing it. Put it into action to bring about the change that is needed.


  10. Totally agree with your awesome points on making the shift from thinking to doing as in what IS in for you is the satisfaction you will have by just taking that action that is needed and stop thinking about doing it just DO IT 🙂 Enjoyed your post and found tons of valuable tips, thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂


  11. Great post! Thank you for sharing this model for change – and recognizing that relapse is a very real thing. No one should expect perfection when trying to make a change. So I agree – be gentle with yourself and know that making the shift to action is empowering.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s