The stages of change model of behavior change includes six well-defined stages that people move through as they work to change a target behavior. It is important to determine what stage you are in now so that you can choose appropriate techniques for progressing through the cycle of change.
Examples of target behaviors include smoking, eating candy bars every afternoon, and never wearing a safety belt; the goal of your behavior change program might be quitting smoking, eating only one candy bar per week, or wearing a safety belt every time you are a driver or passenger in a car.
Part I. Assess Your Stage
To determine your stage, select true or false for each of the following statements:
False for all four statements = Precontemplation
True for statement 4, false for statements 1-3 = Contemplation
True for statements 3 and 4, false for statements 1 and 2 = Preparation
True for statement 2, false for statement 1 = Action
True for statement 1 = Maintenance
Part II. Strategies for Change
To help you move forward in the cycle of change, try the techniques and strategies listed below for your stage. (You may find it helpful to work through the strategies for all the stages.) Put a check next to any strategy that you complete.
If you complete the previous five stages and are no longer tempted to lapse back to your target behavior, you are in the termination stage. You have a new self-image, positive feelings of self-efficacy, and a healthier lifestyle.
For more on the stages of change model and many additional practical strategies, see the text Changing for Good by James Prochaska, John Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente (Avon Books).
For additional general information and strategies for behavior change, complete the activities in the Behavior Change Workbook at the Core Concepts in Health Online Learning Center (http://www.mhhe.com/insel10e or http://www.mhhe.com/inselbrief10e).