Understanding where you are in the stages of change is very helpful. Take a look at the following examples. Where are you in the change process?
Stages of Change. Things to Consider
Precontemplation –“My doctor said I should consider hiring a personal trainer.”
At this point change is not on your radar, but you may be getting messages from others that they are concerned about some aspect of your life.
Contemplation – “I am considering hiring a trainer to help me get healthy – any recommendations?”
You are considering making a change – gathering information, thinking about options and determining the best plan for you. This is a time of ambivalence. You are uncomfortable, but not miserable.
Determination – “I made an appointment for my first training session.”
You have decided that you want to make a change. Your situation has become uncomfortable enough to prompt change. You are committed to doing things differently. You have chosen to take the next step.
Action –“I have weekly sessions with a trainer to help with my fitness goals.”
You have taken action to change your life. You took a risk and initiated the change you want. You are doing it!
Maintenance –“My training sessions are once a month now to save money.”
This is a high risk time for a lapse. Excitement wanes and commitment wavers. Excuses and barriers seem more difficult to overcome.
Lapse/Relapse – “I haven’t seen my trainer in a long time; I stopped tracking my fitness goals.”
You have stopped taking action or begin to do it infrequently. Life seems to get complicated and your resolve has weakened. You are off track.
Start over - “I need to call my trainer to schedule a session.”
You either begin to contemplate or convince yourself to get back on track. The sooner you move into action, the better. Remember how good it was before? You can go directly to action at any point.
(Adapted from Changing for Good, James Prochaska)
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