The Wheel of Change
I have been mulling over what to blog about today when I received an email that inspired me. The email was about Prochaska and DiClemente’s stages of change model. According to this model, when we try to change a habit or unhealthy behaviour we go through different stages:
- Pre-contemplation is when we aren’t yet recognising a need to change.
- Contemplation is when we are considering change.
- Preparation is when we are preparing to change.
- Action is when we start to change.
- Relapse is when we return to the old behaviour.
- Maintenance is when we succeed at change.
Relapse can happen at any stage and is likely to happen on the way to reaching maintenance. It can be hard to recognise and accept this when trying to change your behaviour as relapse feels like failure. In actual fact it is part of the change process. Relapse means you did actually manage to change your behaviour and can return to that new behaviour. You might relapse again and again, but you will eventually get to the maintenance stage if you persist. So, if there is anyone reading this who is trying to change a behaviour, don’t be hard on yourself if you do relapse. The important thing is that you are trying and that you have entered the action stage – that is much closer to maintenance than the pre-contemplation stage!
Categories: Health, Personal/Professional Development, Psychology