The ”Stages of Change” model


fullsizeoutput_174cDuring the past month or so we have been producing introductory videos based on what topics were of interest to Individuals, Community Organisations and Business Owners/CEO’s – and the requested topic areas were as follows:

  1. Corporate Wellbeing
  2. Rehabilitation
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Fitness/Physical Activity

At the end of each video we asked for people to comment with any feedback they may have, or email us more privately if they so wish – everybody chose to email us their responses. We have since collated all the responses and replied accordingly, however we noticed a common trend related to all of the topic areas. The common trend related to different stages of change, and that everybody that commented on the videos seemed to be at different points within their given situation i.e. whether it was with their injury/pain, their struggle with weight loss/keeping fit or struggling to implement a workplace wellness programme.

It immediately highlighted to us that we should blog about the “stages of change” model, which is one component of the TransTheoretical Model (TTM) of behaviour change  – originally developed by Prochaska & DiClemente in 1983.

The picture above is me (Wayne Lambert – owner of LAMBERT), after i had recovered from surgery to repair my knee, which led to me struggling with a lot of weight gain and reducing that weight as i prepared for the marathon. I quite simply went through all the ‘stages of change’ (explained in more detail below), mainly because i did/do not like running either – therefore had no real desire to change that mindset for a long time.

Related to the requested topics, this could relate to the process of change that someone is going through to get started with an exercise routine or weight loss regime or dealing with an injury with its limiting factors or a business owner/CEO getting going with the implementation of a workplace wellness intervention for their staff. Based on more than two decades of research since its original development, theTransTheoretical Model (TTM) of behaviour change has found that individuals move through the following series of stages:

Pre-Contemplation – someone that has no intention of changing their behaviour for the foreseeable future (within the next 6 months), and may not see the behaviour as a problem when asked. There is often an underestimation of the pros of changing behaviour, and likewise too much emphasis is placed on the cons of changing behaviour.

Contemplation – someone that is intending to start a healthy behaviour in the foreseeable future (within the next 6 months). Someone that recognises that their behaviour may be problematic, and a more thoughtful and practical consideration of the pros and cons of changing the behaviour takes place, with equal emphasis placed on both. Even with this recognition, people may still feel ambivalent toward changing their behaviour.

Preparation – someone that is ready to take action (within the next 30 days). Someone that starts to take small steps toward the behaviour change, and they believe changing their behaviour can lead to a healthier life.

Action – someone that has recently changed their behaviour (within the last 6 months) and intend to keep moving forward with that behaviour change. People may exhibit this by modifying their problem behaviour or acquiring new healthy behaviours.

Maintenance -someone that has sustained their behaviour change for a while (more than 6 months) and intend to maintain the behaviour change going forward. Someone that has worked to prevent relapse to earlier stages.

Termination – This stage is not considered very often within health promotion programmes, because it is rarely reached and people tend to stay in the maintenance stage.  If it is a stage to be considered, then it will be someone that has no desire to return to their unhealthy behaviours – and they are sure they will not relapse.

To summarise, if the “stages of change” model is a way to measure change then we could quite easily ask a few further questions as clarification – to place each person’s response/situation within a specific place within the model. My own personal change came by way of ‘changing my mindset’, to help a charity (see ‘WELLCHILD’ vest i was wearing) and in doing so i was helping not only supporting others – but myself too. Similarly, i am now in the maintenance phase and now run regularly as part of my weekly programme – this ensures that i ‘maintain’ good health – always.

TASK: Let us know which stage you think you are at within the model, and why you feel you are at that particular level? Comment on this ‘stages of change’ video:

Feel free to comment below / email us at / or comment on any of the introductory videos (click link below) to get the conversation going with others that may be in a similar situation.

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