Ducks in a Row by Sabo123; Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been walking you through the stages of change, or the stages that mark your readiness to transform a habit.

This week, I introduce stage three, which is called preparation. It is when a person intends to take action soon, but she needs to get all of her ducks in a row and to make a specific plan of action.

By the time a person reaches this stage, she has resolved the ambivalence of the previous stage. The balance has tipped solidly in the direction of change. Before jumping into action, though, she needs to work out the logistics of change.

For example, consider a woman who plans to live on a new household budget. She runs the numbers, devises a couple of versions of a budget, and consults with other members of the household before choosing a plan. Her energy is invested in taking the small steps that she believes will help her make the new budget a success.

Next week, we’ll look at the strategies you can use to move from stage three to stage four.

Do you see any evidence of stage three behavior in your life?