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The 6 Stages of Change

by Marisa Colson |

If January 19th is the day New Year's Resolutions die start looking at your resolutions as goals instead.

Change is not easy for most people. Our behaviors are based on our core values and actions that are rewarded. In today's world we look for instant gratification, in reality we have to do the work to achieve the goal . Motivation is key and usually comes from within. No amount of pressure, persuasion or fear will inspire friends, family or students to take action.


The Transtheoretical Model was developed by psychologists James Prochaska, John Norcross and Carlo DiClemente. The model is used to change health related behaviors such as physical inactivity, smoking, poor nutrition, weight problems and other poor habits that have a negative effect on your health.


The Transtheoretical Model proposes that change is achieved through a series of progressive stages in keeping with a person’s readiness to change.

The Stages of Change - What stage are you in?


Pre-contemplation - An individual is unwilling to change and does not wish to change.

Precontemplators are the most difficult to inspire.
Tips: Education is key, easy to read materials are helpful in this stage. Attractive and positive conversation also may begin to inspire or plant the seed for change.

Contemplation- The individual is thinking of change, they may linger in this stage for a while. Although they are not ready for change, they begin to weigh the pros and cons of changing
Tips: Provide information and educational materials on how to begin changing an undesired behavior. Positive talk and motivation will go along way.

Preparation- An individual is getting ready to change, they are taking initial steps for change. They may also have unrealistic expectations which could lead to disappointment and early drop out.
Tips -  Help them prepare to address the behavior change or desired goal by using the SMART system.
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time Specific/ Timely


Action- Yay, in this stage people are active. This requires the greatest commitment of time and energy. In this phase you’re actively changing a negative behavior and adopting a new healthy behavior. Stick with it- You can do it!!! 

Tips- Relapse is common in this stage- it is important to develop action steps for overcoming barriers or disruptions. Don't be afraid to reevaluate your needs or goals to get back on track.


Maintenance-  Individuals in this phase have maintained change for 6 months or more. The person works to reinforce the  gains made through the various stages and strives to prevent relapses. Even though they have formed a change, they are still tempted at times to return to old habits.

Tips -  Goal is to stay focused-  look for social support and help support good intentions.


Termination- The behavior is ingrained and the temptation to return or revert to the former behavior is entirely gone.

Tips- Share your journey, educate and motivate others. Live your best life ever!!!!








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