According to the research of James O. Prochaska, Ph.D. & Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D. there are 6 stages of change. Their research helped many Americans quit smoking, recognizing that change is a process that has an emotional component, not just a “logical” one. They recognize that change is painful and stressful. Most of us don’t like it; even fear it. But, when our suffering increases, our motivation to change increases.
Stages of Change:
- Pre-contemplation – we are in denial and have no motivation to change.
- Contemplation – we think about changing sometimes and begin looking at the reasons for change.
- Preparation – we are convinced that we must change and begin to plan for it.
- Action – we execute our plans and begin to change.
- Maintenance – we are continuing to change, we work to prevent relapse.
- Termination – we’ve changed
These are the stages of change we go through whether we’re trying to lose weight, get off of drugs, save money, quit smoking, contemplate a new job, or treat depression. I have a testing tool that will help you identify what stage you are in and what you can do to motivate you to move to the next stage. Come by the office and ask for a copy.