The Stages of Change

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

This article is about the stages of change and how far along the stage you might be.

Lily lists the stages of change as follows:

  • Precontemplation: no change in one’s behavior is being considered.

  • Contemplation: one becomes aware of a desire to change a particular behavior, i.e. making a New Year’s Resolution, but not taking any active steps.

  • Preparation: there is not only a desire to change, but also evidence of commitment to make that change in the near future, such as not only making a Resolution, but taking a few active steps toward that goal.

  • Action: the change in the criterion behavior actually occurs. Progressing through this stage may include intense effort to modify behavior itself as well as the environment in which the behavior occurs, and can last for a while.

  • Maintenance: consists of ongoing change of behavior. However, this is that stage that most people are faced with relapse to a previous stage. Relapse can sometimes be fought by focusing on the benefits and gains from the change.

No matter where you are on the stages of change, it is possible to make lasting changes in your life. If you notice that you are in the Precontemplation or Contemplation stages, and notice that you are not willing to take the steps necessary to live a healthy lifestyle, don’t bother. Don’t say you’re going to go on a diet if you aren’t willing to do what needs to be done. You would spend your time much more wisely if you decide to eat whatever you want and just learn to love yourself as you are.


One Response to “The Stages of Change”

  1. Bill Nadraszky Says:

    This is a great list as I have always been the guy that does step one and two and even sometimes three.

    The toughest part is thae action. I have sometimes found, espeically with fitness, that when I am down I will just go for a ride or a run and not even think about it until I am on the road. Once I have started I will wait a few minutes in until I set a goal for the amount of time or distance that I will do as I don’t think the frame of mind I have in my living room is the right place to make that decision.

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