When we found out that my daughter Ranna was going to the hospital for treatments every afternoon for two months, my first reaction was panic. How could I change my business schedule so that I could take Ranna to the hospital every afternoon?
After a few minutes, I calmed down and thought about the five steps of change that Joy and I have been discussing. When I heard the doctor’s plan for treatments, I started the first step toward change—pre-contemplation. I knew that I was going to have to make some changes in my daily work plan.
What changes could I make? The second step—contemplation—was figuring out what I needed to change. How could I get more help with my business and personal responsibilities so that I can focus on helping Ranna during the next couple of months?
For me, the third step—preparation—involved talking first to the people at my office and letting them know that I need my afternoons free to go with Ranna to the hospital, but assuring them that I still will be working mornings and some evenings. I also called Anita, who has been working for me a day or two a week as a personal assistant and asked her if she could help more.
I’m now in the middle of the fourth step—action. I’m getting some help at my office. And, while I’m taking Ranna to the hospital, Anita has found the plumber we needed to make a repair, supervised the people who came to do yard work and taken care of a number of other essential tasks.
The fifth step is maintenance. I’ll monitor my work situation and Ranna’s schedule on a weekly basis to make sure that I have the help I need. With help, I can focus on Ranna. She is my first priority right now.
For more information about James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente’s Transactional Theory of Behavior Change, read this blog post.