When starting a new routine or working towards a new goal, new behaviors have to be formed as well. Here are the stages of behavior change. Think of something new you are wanting to start, what stage are you in?
The behavior change stages model, also known as the transtheoretical model of behavior change, was developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in the 1980s to describe the process people go through when changing a behavior. The model outlines five stages that a person goes through when making a behavior change:
- Precontemplation: In this stage, the person has no intention of changing their behavior in the near future. They may be unaware of the negative consequences of their behavior or have tried to change in the past without success. This person may say something along the lines of “I won’t” or “I can’t” in this stage.
- Contemplation: In this stage, the person is aware of the negative consequences of their behavior and is considering making a change. They may weigh the pros and cons of the behavior change and may seek out information and support. This person may say, “I’m thinking about…” or “I may…” in this stage.
- Preparation: In this stage, the person has decided to make a behavior change and is making plans to do so. They may set a specific goal, create an action plan, and gather resources to help them make the change. This person may say, “I’m planning on…” in this stage.
- Action: In this stage, the person begins to actively engage in the behavior change. They may implement their action plan, use support systems, and monitor their progress. This person may say, “I have been…” or “I am…” in this stage.
- Maintenance: In this stage, the person has successfully made the behavior change and is working to maintain the new behavior over time. They may use strategies to prevent relapse and may continue to use support systems.
It is important to note that not all individuals will go through all of these stages and that the length of time spent in each stage can vary. Additionally, some individuals may experience relapse and return to an earlier stage of the model.