People often talk about change as if it were a single event, yet research in fields like personal development as well as addiction point to change as more of a process.
The Stages of Change Model, created by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, comes from studies of how smokers gave up their addiction, but is also applicable to the field of personal development in general, since people making many types of life changes move through these phases.
Let’s quickly describe each one:
In this stage, you’re not planning to change yet. You may come up with rationalizations for why you don’t need to change, both for yourself and others.
At this point, you’re no longer in denial, but have not yet decided whether you want to change. You still are weighing the benefits and costs of changing.
After weighing the pros and cons, you’ve decided you want to change. You’re researching and learning to accept what it will take to alter your lifestyle.
This is the actual time of change. While it may seem sudden to others, what they don’t see is that you may have spent years building up to it.
At this stage, which may last from over half a year to less than an hour, you are actively changing your life, most likely relying on others for support along the way.
Now, the challenge is sticking with the change you have made. As we have said, change isn’t a one-time event, but a process.
After you make an important life change, you will have to avoid the temptation to go back to your old ways, remind yourself of how far you’ve come, keep seeking support when you need it, and learn the needed skills to maintain your new lifestyle.
6. A Possible Detour: Relapse
Of course, sometimes people fall back into old habits. If you slip up along the way, you may feel like a failure, but relapse is actually an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
Instead of giving in to despair, try to understand what led up to the incident so you can avoid or manage these triggers in the future.
7. Bonus Stage: Transcendence
This is an extra stage that psychologist Marc F. Kern added. If you stay in maintenance long enough, you will eventually develop new habits. Just like your old habits were hard to break, your new ones will be as well-hopefully, that will be a good thing this time!
Where do you see yourself?
After looking over this list, which stage do you think you are in? What are some things you could do to move toward a more advanced stage?
Be honest with yourself and, most importantly, stay the course. I wish you the best of luck!
My name is Evelyn and I want to help you change your life. Although self-help techniques are powerful, my one-on-one coaching can provide you with extra support as you move through the stages of change, providing anonymous, non-judgmental guidance. I can provide coaching by e-mail, telephone, or Skype video conferencing, as well as in person. Follow this link to learn more about Life Success Company individual coaching.
Article Source: The Stages of Change