Monday, July 1, 2013

Readiness Is A Journey

I don't know about you, but I've observed this situation many times in my life. In fact, I would have to say that I see it for sure on a monthly basis. It goes something like this...a person or a collection of people step up to the counter to order something at a place of business. Inevitably, the minutes begin to pass by like sand slowly pouring through an hourglass. The people ordering seem to be perplexed by the options presented to them and they just can't make up their mind. As time goes on I can see these people asking question after question and then looking back to other members of their party to see what they think. Meanwhile, a line continues to pile up behind them as they continue to ponder what to get. About 10 minutes in these folks finally purchase what they would like and then the line moves forward. What ensues afterwards is something of a miracle or actually something that should be more common. My wife and I step up to the counter and order what we want and seconds later we have moved aside to make way for the next people in line. And the question I ask over and over again is "why in the hell did it take the people in front of us so long to make a decision?" I mean isn't it just a movie or food or something of the sort? Readiness is apparently not high on the list in situations like these.

Now, you might be saying, Dr. D...those situations are fairly irrelevant and who cares if it takes people sometimes a while to figure out what they want at those places. And to that I would say you do have a point. However, you and I both know that these are not the only situations in life where lack of readiness annoys and disrupts others. When there is big consequences on the line lack of readiness can be extremely damaging. 

As a Fitness GM and personal trainer, I find the subject of readiness to be of the utmost importance. One of my staff members at Club Ridges was talking to me the other day about a lecture that had a profound impact on him a few years back. My amazing colleague Dr. Michael Norwood came to do a lecture at a conference I was putting on and he discussed with the attendees the concept of readiness. His message was a counter culture message for personal trainers. Dr. Norwood said loud and clear that if clients do not provide the requisite passion and commitment for a training program then you can most certainly turn them away and tell them they are not ready. This message was so against the grain because the majority of trainers will just take a new client on because it means more experience and additional income. However, Dr. Norwood challenged the attendees to think of their training business in a different way. You always have the option to turn clients away and this is certainly true if clients are giving you heavy indicators during the assessment that they will take way too much time off regularly or if they have several obstacles that they believe will cause them to cancel on your regularly. Readiness is a journey and you have to find out if they are actually ready for the full on training program or if they are ready just for a conversation (see the Trans-theoretical Model of Behavior Change).

Life in general is so much like a scale of readiness. There are so many decisions that require a strong level of readiness to be successful. It could be deciding to buy a home, find a new job, pick a good school, parenthood and or anything else that is a big deal in life. You can't go into those decisions and stand at the counter of life thinking "I am not sure what I want to do?" Make one step and then two and then three and then so on and so forth. Develop good habits towards a great decision. Be forward moving and prepare yourself to be ready for big moments in life where your decisions will make or break your happiness for you and your family. 

Remember this....Indecision is the enemy of progress. 

Until next time....

Dr. D

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