If you’ve been living your life in a certain way and suddenly you were asked to change your lifestyle, it seems like you’ve got to unlearn and relearn everything you’ve learnt till now and it certainly isn’t an easy task. Let’s face it: Change is not easy. Be it a bad habit or a better way of doing things, nobody likes change. It is not easy to change yourself easily.

Researchers have found that there are 6 stages that are involved for the change to take place.

Here are the 6 stages of personal change:

  1. Precontemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Determination
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Termination

Let’s take a look at the above stages in detail;

Stage 1 – Precontemplation
This is more of a denial stage. In this stage, a person doesn’t really want to undertake the change. The person is just not motivated enough to change or is demotivated due to frequent past failures and so, doesn’t feel like changing his current scenario.

Stage 2 – Contemplation
This is the stage when the person starts thinking about the advantages the change will bring into his/her life. he/she acknowledges the fact that the change will be beneficial for his life but at the same time he/she faces a lot of confusion too. The person knows the benefits but may feel reluctant to make the effort.

Stage 3 – Determination/Preparation
This is the stage when the person starts putting in serious efforts to achieve his/her goal. He/she makes a plan that needs to be followed, in order to achieve the desired results.

Stage 4 – Action
This is the stage in which the person puts the plan into action and follows it religiously. At this stage, a person’s efforts and desire to change is completely visible.

Stage 5 – Maintenance
Once the action is taken and a certain result is obtained, the person now thinks how he/she can maintain the change that has taken place. This stage is very important for the change to be completely possible because if you don’t maintain the lifestyle you’ve made efforts for, your body will return to its old habits and form.
Stage 6 – Termination
This is the most difficult stage of all. This stage shows 100% commitment to the change and adhering to all the lifestyle modifications started in the beginning. Most of the people are unable to reach this stage.

Duration of each stage
There is no fixed time duration for any stage. Some people take months to transition from one stage to another while others move very fast and are able to finish off all the stages within an entire month. It simply depends upon your motivation and willpower.

Disadvantages of this model
This model of change is only applicable when you know exactly what you want to achieve and that you have a realistic goal to achieve. If you have unrealistic goals which are difficult to judge, you would not know when one stage ends and another begins and it would also make it tough to measure your progress.