The 5 Stages of Behavioral Change

In 1977, research psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente developed what is known as the Transtheoretical Model, a major component of which you may have heard of. Called the Stages of Change Model, this model for human behavior outlines each step in the change process that is experienced by all of us, including those who aren't quite ready to change. The five stages of behavioral change can be applied to all behaviors, from exercise habits to addictions:

Some professionals acknowledge a sixth stage in the change model: the relapse phase. During a relapse, individuals fall back into old patterns of behavior. Don't ever let relapsing deter you from making a permanent change. It's a natural part of the change process, and the model is based on the notion of an upward spiral; in other words, we are inclined to learn from each relapse and eventually reach a point where the desired change becomes permanent.

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