First Stage Pre-Contemplation:-
The earliest stage of change is known as pre-contemplation. During the pre-contemplation stage, you are not considering change. People in this stage are often described as “In Denial” due to claims that their behaviour is not a problem. If you are in this stage, you may feel resigned to your current state or believe that you have no control over your behaviour. In some cases, people is this stage do not understand that their behaviour is damaging or are under informed about the consequences of their actions. If you are in this stage, begin by asking yourself some questions. Have you ever tried to change this behaviour in the past? How did you recognise that you had a problem? What would have to happen for you to consider your behaviour problem?
Second Stage Contemplation:-
During this stage, people become more and more aware of the potential benefits of making a change but the costs tend to stand out even more. This conflict creates a strong sense of ambivalence about changing. Because of this uncertainty, the contemplation stage of change cam last months or even years. In fact, many people never make it past the contemplation phase. During this stage, you may view change as a process of giving something up rather than a means of gaining emotional, mental or physical benefits. If you are contemplating a behavioural change, there are some important questions to ask yourself. Why do you want change? Is there anything preventing you from changing? What are some things that could help you make this change?
Third Stage Preparation:-
During this stage you might begin making small changes to prepare for a larger life change. For example, if losing weight is your desire, your goal, you might remove sugar or switch to lower-fat foods. If your goal is to quit smoking, you might switch brands or smoke less each day. You might also take some sort of direct action such as consulting a weight loss consultant, joining a health club, or reading self-help books If you are in the preparation stage, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of successfully making a lasting life change. Gather as much information as you can about ways to change behaviour. Prepare a list of motivation statements and write down your goals. find outside resources such as support groups, or weight loss consultants, who can offer advice and encouragement.
Fourth Stage Action:-
During the fourth stage of change, people begin to take direct action in order to accomplish their goals. Often times, resolutions fail because the previous steps have not been given enough thought or time. For example, many people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and immediately start a new exercise regimen, begin eating a healthier diet, and cut back on snacks. These definite steps are vital to success, but these efforts are often abandoned in a matter of weeks because the previous steps, pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation have been overlooked.
If you are currently taking action towards achieving a goal, congratulate and reward yourself for any positive steps you take. Reinforcement and support are extremely important in helping maintain positive steps toward change. Take time to periodically review your motivations, resources and progress in order to refresh your commitment and belief in your abilities.
Fifth Stage Maintenance:-
The maintenance phase of the stages of change model involves successfully avoiding former habits and behaviours and keeping the new behaviours. During this stage, people become more assured that they will be able to continue their life style change. When you maintain a new behaviour, look for ways to avoid temptation. Try replacing old habits with more positive actions. Reward yourself when you are able to successfully avoid a relapse. Don’t be hard on yourself or give up. In stead, remind yourself that it was just a minor set-back. As you will learn, relapses are common and are part of the process of making a lifelong change. The maintenance stage is when you will learn the tricks to be fully armed and informed as to what we need to do to continue our weight loss journey successfully and or maintain our current weight which we are now very happy with. During the maintenance stage we are committed to continue active lifestyle and not go back to the sedentary lifestyle that we know will contribute to putting weight on. At this stage we are conscious eaters and know the rules of good and healthy eating habits. In the maintenance stage we are in control of our happy healthy life style and what we need to do when we have a set back. When we have achieved keeping our weight at our goal weight level for 1 or 2 years or more this is when permanent weight loss is evident. Congratulate yourself once again for a job well done!
Let me leave you with this thought
“Translate knowledge into action, because awareness is not enough”