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Actualization (Action)

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Rogers' Seven Stages of Process: Definition. Stage 4. Movement between Stages Rogers identified that the journey between stages is not linear with people moving both ways : "… it is rare to find someone who shows signs of being in only one 'stage' at a time. We need you to confirm we can send this to you via email.

Behavioral Change Models

Behavioral Change Models. Contents All Modules. The Transtheoretical Model Stages of Change The Transtheoretical Model also called the Stages of Change Model , developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in the late s, evolved through studies examining the experiences of smokers who quit on their own with those requiring further treatment to understand why some people were capable of quitting on their own. Precontemplation - In this stage, people do not intend to take action in the foreseeable future defined as within the next 6 months.

People are often unaware that their behavior is problematic or produces negative consequences. People in this stage often underestimate the pros of changing behavior and place too much emphasis on the cons of changing behavior. Contemplation - In this stage, people are intending to start the healthy behavior in the foreseeable future defined as within the next 6 months. People recognize that their behavior may be problematic, and a more thoughtful and practical consideration of the pros and cons of changing the behavior takes place, with equal emphasis placed on both.

Even with this recognition, people may still feel ambivalent toward changing their behavior. Preparation Determination - In this stage, people are ready to take action within the next 30 days. People start to take small steps toward the behavior change, and they believe changing their behavior can lead to a healthier life. Action - In this stage, people have recently changed their behavior defined as within the last 6 months and intend to keep moving forward with that behavior change.

People may exhibit this by modifying their problem behavior or acquiring new healthy behaviors. Maintenance - In this stage, people have sustained their behavior change for a while defined as more than 6 months and intend to maintain the behavior change going forward. People in this stage work to prevent relapse to earlier stages.

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Termination - In this stage, people have no desire to return to their unhealthy behaviors and are sure they will not relapse. Since this is rarely reached, and people tend to stay in the maintenance stage, this stage is often not considered in health promotion programs.

Origins of the Term

Consciousness Raising - Increasing awareness about the healthy behavior. Want to be more successful in making the changes that matter to you? People in this stage may wish to change, but for the immediate future have no plans to do so. They may not be fully aware of all the potential benefits, or they may feel disinclined to try because of past failed attempts, or a lack of available energy. Weighing the pros and cons of a behavior is an important component in the Transtheoretical Model. In the beginning, the apparent cons tend to outweigh the perceived pros.

As a person moves through the six stages, however, that balance shifts. It may seem like too much work, or just plain not for you.

Six Stages of Change

When someone tries to talk to you about it e. Moving from Precontemplation to Contemplation: It may take a scary test result or a major life event such as the birth of a child or death of a loved one to get you motivated to start thinking differently about your prospects for change. In this stage, the pros and cons of potential change feel about equal.

Since contemplators are open to new information unlike precontemplators, who tend to reject it , they can build their enthusiasm for change by connecting to these core values or motivations, gathering information, exploring new perspectives, asking others about their experiences and learning from the examples of those who have already made the change they are considering. All of these discovery processes can help shift how the contemplator is thinking — an essential step for making forward progress. What will I be doing differently? This can turn up their enthusiasm, and also help reveal unaddressed obstacles or anxieties for which they might need support.

Your ears may perk up when you hear someone talking about related subjects. You may be concerned about the prospect of leaving behind familiar patterns. If so, reaching out for the support of a coach, mentor or counselor could be very helpful. Hearing the first-person accounts of others who have already made this change can be inspiring and reassuring, too.

People in the Preparation stage are getting ready to take action. The Preparation stage is all about building confidence — and troubleshooting against the obstacles or weaknesses that stand the greatest chance of undermining it. It is much harder to think of success strategies and temptation-management techniques on the fly than it is to prepare for them in advance. People tend to get stuck in Preparation or ricochet back and forth between it and Contemplation when they misjudge their level of readiness or impatiently jump straight to Action.

That can undermine their confidence and make them wary about trying again. I ask them to make key adjustments to their environment and schedule, and rally the support of friends and family. This is also a great time to hire a coach, if you choose to, or to join a support group that focuses on your desired change. And now is when you want to make any other necessary arrangements: If your goal is to start a fitness plan, for example, mark your calendar with a firm date and time when you plan to begin working out, sign up for a fitness class, arrange childcare, and buy the proper shoes and workout clothes for your chosen activity.

Moving from Preparation to Action: This is when you sign up for that class, attend a support group, buy a health-club or yoga-studio membership, or bring home a pamphlet for services that will help you make the change you desire. Any initial steps — even if they are experimental — move you that much closer to Action and the sense of momentum that comes with it. Beyond just thinking about it or preparing to act, a person in this phase has actually begun doing something or a lot of things differently, and may be experimenting with expanding his or her efforts.

Even if the changes are small so far, he or she is building momentum, knowledge and self-confidence, all of which encourage continued action.


During the Action stage, when people are working to strengthen their commitment to the change, external support is critical, says Prochaska. Even though they may not be inclined to ask for it, people in this stage benefit from offers of emotional and physical support, and from having people around them recognize their progress and help keep them accountable. You might post visual reminders or inspirations on your fridge or in your cube at work to keep you focused on your goal.

But Action is an ongoing process, notes Larsen, so the focus here needs to be on progress, not perfection. Quick course corrections and positive reinforcement will help you stay committed and motivated. Perhaps you ate your first healthy meal, completed your first round of workouts, or got through your first few days or weeks as a nonsmoker.

Now you just have to keep going. Getting to that point mostly involves doing whatever keeps you strong, motivated and focused. Finding ways to integrate your chosen behavior change into your social life and sense of identity can be a big help.

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Individuals in the Maintenance stage have managed to stay in Action mode for at least six months. Their new behaviors have started to become a more integrated part of their lifestyle and identity, and their risk of relapse is much lower than when they began. Yet several things can trigger people in Maintenance to relapse: stress, crisis, apathy, boredom, a loss of environmental or emotional support, or a frustrating plateau in progress.

What constitutes a lapse in maintenance depends on the behavior change in question. For an alcoholic who has committed to total sobriety, it may be a single drink. For those who have embarked on a fitness routine, it may mean missing a few workouts in a row. They now seem fairly routine. Moving from Maintenance to Termination: Treat obstacles and unanticipated challenges as opportunities to develop new strengths. Ward off boredom by taking on new challenges and expanding your skills. In Termination, the behavior change is completely integrated, and the temptation to revert to the former behavior is entirely gone.

People in Termination often opt to keep building on their initial change, adding bigger and broader goals and achieving even more success. According to Prochaska, about only 15 to 20 percent of people ever make it to Termination.