My workshops on Implementing Health Change will focus on many components of this well researched psychological theory of change. Here is the basic breakdown of how Prochaska and Diclemente revolutionized change for many.
As you know, change does not always come with ease. We may have an awareness that a certain habit is not serving us well, however we may not be in a space to do anything about it. Understanding these stages can help you to assess your current readiness for change and how you can begin the process.
1) Precontemplation: This stage means you are simply not considering a change. Your thought process may involve something like, "I've already got enough to deal with. I cannot consider this now. I enjoy this behavior and habit too much".
2) Comtemplation: This stage means you have an awareness that something might need to change but you are not sure about whether you want to do something about it or not. This often involves thoughts of bouncing back and forth between knowing you need to quit vs. holding on tight to the behavior as a positive thing.
3) Preparation: This stage means you have shifted to a place where you would like to embrace the opportunity to make a change. You have decided to learn about resources that may support the behavior change you are seeking. You begin to take some steps towards preparing yourself and others for the change. You may let others know you will need support when you begin this change. This is the stage where you will begin to assess obstacles that may arise in the change process and who/what will help you to overcome these with the most successful outcomes.
4) Action: This stage means you have taken action to stop the behavior (unhealthy habits) and/or you have taken action to start the behavior (healthy habits). This is where you put your ideas and preparations into action. You are following through with your intentions and taking action on the item (s).
5) Maintenance: This stage means you continue to maintain the change (s) you recently implemented. This stage requires much support and discipline to stay on track. It focuses on the "one day at a time" approach until it becomes a natural way of being.
6) Relapse: This means you had an "oops" moment. You may have slipped backwards and fallen into the old habit or way of being. Or, if you were implementing something new and healthy, this is where you notice you may have stopped doing that behavior. Please know that relapse is a COMMON and NATURAL part of the process. For example, on average, it takes a person 7-10 attempts before they successfully quit smoking. The important thing to note is that they keep going back for that next attempt! If you find you have relapsed, take a moment to see what set off the relapse. Ask yourself: "Was there a person or situation that triggered you"? Ask yourself, "Where do I need more support"? Relapse moments are some of the most important teachers in the process. So take a moment to assess, learn, FORGIVE YOURSELF and move forward with a deeper understanding of yourself. If you don't let go of the guilt, it will way you down and prevent you from moving forward with success.
7) Maintenance: This means you are back on track. Many will vacillate between maintenance and relapse for a bit until it can be a solid fluid commitment.
~ Liz Myers, MA
To learn more and to get support with the change process, visit my events page for the: Implementing Health Change Workshops happening next on Sept 26 7-9pm at Casa De Luz in North park. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for the event.
Liz Myers, MA, RYT200
Spiritual Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
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