Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 24, 2024

Matt’s Memo #8 / 7-minute read

Video Version of Memo:

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If you’re still struggling to hit your business income goals…

Know there are 6 Stages to Behavior Change that lead to becoming a goal-attaining expert. 

Knowing all six will propel you to new business & life heights. 

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation

The first stage is what’s called Pre-contemplation.

When you’re in this stage, you don’t recognize that you have a problem.

People in this stage often make excuses to support whatever resistance they have to making change.

So you could write down that pre-contemplation is the resistance to the fact that you have something to fix in the first place. 

Stage 2: Contemplation

The second stage is contemplation.

Here is where you start to become aware that there’s a problem. 

You acknowledge it and begin to feel a desire to change it.

But in this second stage, even though you’re recognizing it and you’re becoming aware, you don’t know how to begin.

If you’re stuck here, and this is where a lot of people are stuck, you need to ask yourself why are you stuck…

…what’s preventing you from just moving forward and getting started on what you’re beginning to become aware is important to you?

Keeping a journal could be a quality thing to do at this stage.

The reason is that it can help to get your thoughts down on paper so you can assess, 

“Okay, why am I not moving forward? What's the problem here?”

In this second stage of contemplation, only you can help yourself.

It’s an inner thing you’re dealing with. 

Sure, you can talk to others about it…

…maybe try to get some ideas from people that you trust…

…but you need to sit down and take time to reflect on why you’re stuck here and feeling frustrated. 

Stage 3: Preparation

The third stage is what’s called Preparation.

Now in preparation, you’re ready to make the change.

You understand what you’ll gain by doing it.

You understand the benefits of action…

But you’re still not quite ready to move forward and do anything as you’re kind of working out that action plan mentally.

You’re revving yourself up for it and again, a journal might help here because it gets your thoughts down…

…you start writing down,

“Here’s what I'm going to do.”

By the way, many people may need support from somebody else at this stage.

Whether it’s family and friends who will cheer you on.

Or if your family and friends are not going to do that, which is a real challenge that many of us experience…

…Then maybe you need to work with a coach or a mentor…

…somebody who can kind of help you get moving on what you’re realizing you want to do.

For believers such as myself, praying to Jesus and asking Him to fill us with the Holy Spirit during our decision-making process is a key aspect to success here. 

So that’s the third stage…preparation…

You’re basically preparing yourself in a mental manner. 

Stage 4: Action

Now the fourth one is the biggie.

It’s the Action Stage.

Girl yelling, "and action"

You pay attention to what you indulge in that keeps you from getting closer to your goal.

And of course, this is the stage where you’re beginning to actively adjust whatever your past problem behavior may have been.

You’re putting your plan into motion.

And you very much want to put your plan into motion by focusing in on one goal at a time

…one step at a time.

You don’t need to go crazy here. 

You don’t have to go all-in.

You simply need to take that first step.

A Health Example

For example, I’ve continued to stumble with exercising and getting myself back into shape. 

Finally, I hit this Action Stage for my health goal by doing one thing:

Taking a quick 25-minute walk each day. 

That’s it…

Starting out simple, as opposed to the other 80 things I wrote down, like lifting weights, running 10 miles, and the stuff that made it feel too big of an undertaking…

…helped me take that first step.

And calling it a 25-minute walk instead of a 30-minute walk made a huge difference for me mentally. 

It may not seem like much, but thinking, 

“I’m just doing this for 25 minutes”

…works better for me than saying,

“I’m doing this for half an hour.”

Now I’m gaining momentum by creating that one good habit. 

A Business Example

From a business perspective, it could be something as simple as saying to yourself, 

“I'm absolutely dedicated to changing my business and moving it forward, so I'm gonna reduce my TV watching each night by an hour. And in place of that TV watching I'm gonna actually sit down and make phone calls.”

That’s a wonderful simple thing to do in this situation.

And especially in the beginning, place zero expectations on yourself regarding tangible results

Just commit to doing the hour of phone calls.

When I started walking, I didn’t weigh myself after each walk, expecting unrealistic instant results…

I simply did the thing and got it to consistency, 

And these are just two quick examples.

You can obviously apply this to anything.

A Relationship Example

You might apply this to fixing a relationship in your life.

Maybe you’re a parent and your relationship with your pre-teen has gone sour recently. 

Use this principle to start working on that by changing one small thing inside your relationship. 

The point is to take the expectations out in the beginning.

Because for most of us, when we make changes, especially in our behaviors, we don’t see big improvements right away.

Our mind goes a million miles ahead to the success that we want ultimately.

But when you first start, there’s gonna be a lot of resistance and it’s gonna take some time for you to see physical, tangible realities that your new behaviors are actually doing something.

So that’s why I say take it one goal at a time… one step at a time.

And if it’s the example of phone calls, don’t even worry about results, whether you even got a hold of anybody.

Maybe you left what feels like a million voicemails.

Maybe you talked to one very grumpy person and it didn’t work out right.

Don’t worry about it at first. 

Because if you dedicate yourself and the next day you build on that behavior and you do it again…

And then the third day you do it again.

And the fourth day you just do it again.

You’ll be amazed as you work on that for a month, two months, three months, what begins to happen.

So I just encourage you in the action stage…

…don’t quit too soon.

Stage 5: Maintenance

OK, so now we get to the fifth stage, which is the maintenance stage.

The maintenance stage is where you’re stabilizing the problem behavior.

Let’s take the example I gave you where you’re a parent trying to fix a relationship with your pre-teen child. 

You’re not getting along or connecting like you used to. 

There’s friction between one another and so your goal is to get that relationship back into a good, warm place again.

Well, at this stage you’re starting to see some results.

You’re starting to see some breakdown, maybe, in the barrier between the two of you…

…and it’s beginning to feel better and you’re getting there.

You can see that your action, your new behavior, however you’re reacting to what they say to you…

…you’ve changed it and over time, they’ve warmed up to you.

That’s the maintenance stage.

In the maintenance stage, though, you have to work on making sure that your behavior changes are becoming permanent…

…permanent lifestyle changes.

And this goes back to overall attitude.

If you can maintain a positive attitude as you work on the behavior change and you keep going…

…over time you’ll start to see true goals being realized.

So that’s maintenance, where you’re getting there, you’re seeing results, you’re starting to get momentum going with what you’re working on. 

Stage 6: Relapse

The last stage is one I think is fantastic because I believe we need to remain aware that this stage is a possibility

…and we don’t live in a kind of “la-la land.”

The sixth stage is the Relapse stage. 

When you’re working hard to change a behavior where you’ve done something a certain way for years, you may very well hit some relapses…

Meaning you resort back to the old behavior.

For example, if it’s dealing with your child and you’ve committed to not reacting if they come at you in a negative way. or they’re kind of snotty to you, or whatever the negative response to you might be…

Your goal is to come back to them with compassion and love…

Well, they might do that to you the very next day…

…and your old behavior, your old mechanism clicks in…

And you get angry and you lash back out.

So understand that it could happen.

It could be if you’re working on your business and you made that commitment to do the phone calls one hour at night.

Know going in that, say you started on Monday and then you come home on Thursday, you had a real rotten day at work…

Something happened to your positive attitude…it’s been affected negatively…

…and you relapse back into that old way of handling it where you grab the big tub of ice cream, sit down on the couch…

…and you watch shows or movies for four hours.


That might happen! 

You have to understand that it’s possible…

…that it can happen.

But the idea here is that you’re catching it quickly.

You’re seeing it happen more quickly.

You’re becoming acutely aware of how you handle these moments of stress. 

And now you’re taking a moment to say,

“OK, I relapsed. But rather than relapsing for the next five weeks, how about on Friday I get right back on the horse and make those phone calls. 

The important thing in this stage is to take a moment to identify what triggered your relapse…

Pay attention to the thing that happened at work.

Ask yourself if it was a certain kind of way your child talks to you.

And start building up your your strength as far as,

“Alright, the next time that happens I am NOT going to react like that! I’m gonna react in a positive and good way.”

Again, keeping a journal here is good because you can start to get your thoughts down and maybe go back to it…

…and revisit why you relapsed…

And focus on saying to yourself,

“It's OK that that happened but I'm going to shorten the time frame where I stay in that negative state.”

Or do what I do…hop on a 25-minute walk, and lose some weight while I’m talking to God about my situation 🙂

So those are the six stages of behavior change…

…where if you can go through those and recognize them…

Over time, you’ll stay on track with your goal and you’ll meet your goal.  

Ok, that’s it for this Memo. 

See you in my next Memo with more exploration into the concepts and skills that will drive more leads and sales for your business.

Helping you build it big,

P.S. Here’s how I can help you grow your business:

The Fastest Way To Use Affiliate Marketing: 15-Day Challenge

The Fastest Way To Grow a Team to 1000+: The “Secret” Leader’s Playbook

The Fastest Way To Master Social MediaThe 15-Second Method

The Fastest Way To Produce Content: I’ll Do It For You

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