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The Stages of Change
  1. Precontemplation: Not ready. Not now.
  2. Contemplation: Maybe soon — thinking about it.
  3. Preparation: Ready, taking small steps.
  4. Action: Doing the healthy behavior.
  5. Maintenance: Keeping on.
  6. Termination: Change fully integrated. Not going back.

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The Stages of Change

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At this stage, you've changed. You are able to face the challenges of life without the old behavior. For example, if stress tempts you to eat, you can use healthy coping strategies such as exercise.

Be clear about your motivation; write down your reasons for making the change and remind yourself daily. Get support.

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Maintenance

In this stage, the change has been established for the past six months and the threat of returning to old behaviors becomes less intense or frequent.

There is always a chance of relapsing to old behaviors and re-cycling through the stages, so it’s important to continue planning for events that may trigger it. Recalling what helped through previous stages, reflecting upon mistakes made and how to prevent them without over analyzing or judging will help here.

Stages of the Change Model

The best-known approach to change is the Stages of Change or Transtheoretical Model, that was introduced in the 1970s as a way to help people quit smoking.

In this model, change happens slowly, and relapses are an inevitable part of the process. It has 6 stages:

  1. Precontemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Relapse.