Counseling for Alcohol and Drug Abuse


Making a Change: Ready, Able, Willing

What is involved in the decision making process when it comes to transitions and change in our lives?  Deciding to make (or not make) a change in our lives can be hard, and sometimes we get stuck in the process.  It involves critical thinking and not solely basing decisions on the emotions of the moment.  

I like to remember change as having three required components:  To be ready, to be willing, and to be able.

READY means that the timing is right.  Is this physically and emotionally possible in this stage of your life? Might it be better to wait a day, a month, a year?  This involves an honest look at current obstacles in your season of life. 

ABLE means that you have the resources available or at least know where to access the resources needed to make the change.  Do you have a support system?  Are you in a healthy emotional place yourself?  Do you know where to turn if you need help?  Do you have the financial capabilities to make this happen?   Sometimes you need to increase your competencies in a particular area in order to be most effective.

WILLING means looking at your level of motivation.  do you have some ambition and drive to achieve this?  How much time and energy will this take you and what are you willing to do to make this a successful change?  What are you willing to sacrifice, and what are you not?  Have you thought about what obstacles might come up and how you could overcome them?

Asking yourself these questions can help you gain clarity through this time, and help you in your decision making processes.