Which would you find the easiest to do?
(a) Change your mind.
(b) Change your weight.
(c) Change your religion.
The most obvious response is (a). But, if you apply a time factor to the situation you can see how your answer might be affected. For instance, let’s say that a while ago you agreed to play a key role in your best friend’s wedding and just recently found out how much your participation will cost not only in expenses, but also in time away from your new job. Money being tight just now, you might wish you could change your mind. But you’d risk losing your friend if you backed out this close to the event.
At first, you’d think that response (b) would be a limited choice because a weight change is such a difficult and lengthy process. However, if your blood sugar takes a sudden jump and your doctor told you that you were at risk of diabetes you’d be eager to shed those extra pounds.
The least likely response is (c) because to expect someone to change his or her religion is inconceivable. However, people do embrace a new faith when they become disillusioned with outmoded dogma and lovers willingly convert when they meet a kindred spirit who shares their hopes and dreams.
The determining factors in the above examples are timing and readiness. In all three conditions, for change to happen the timing had to be right and individual had to be ready.
Preparing yourself for change forces you to call your values and beliefs into question in order to determine which are in alignment with your future and which will need some adjustment. If your values are deeply embedded, you will need a longer period of planning. On the other hand, if your beliefs have shallow roots then change can happen quickly.