Updated: May 4, 2019
I’m a hot mess when it comes to the internal debate “to eat chocolate, or not to eat chocolate (or croissants, cookies, and anything bakery delish)”. For me, the only resolve is how many “treats” and when. I’m not going to cut-back or give it up anytime soon. Under the "transtheoretical model of change", this mentality is categorized in the precontemplative stage of change.Though this model was designed to help identify health behavior for "at risk" populations, it can also be used for individuals with a less acute need for behavior change.
Change, it’s what’s for dinner, we hope it happens regularly, but timing and satiation levels may vary. The most impact full take-away from my community health education degree, is understanding people’s health behaviors, and the stage of change an individual is in currently for those behaviors. Understanding the various stages is critical for both my personal health + growth, and in meeting my massage clients where they are in order to provide the proper recommendations and resources. This intro blog post briefly describes each stage of change, in order to help people to identify where they are in making personal health changes. It’s fundamental to realize where you are with health behaviors, and where you want to be.
Precontemplation – There is no intention to make any changes in this phase, within the foreseeable future. Individuals in this stage are typically unaware that an unhealthy behavior has negative impacts on the mind, body, or spirit. Often in this stage, the pros of change are not perceived by the individual to outweigh the cons of the behavior.
Contemplation - People intend to start the behavior change soon, within six months. People recognize that their behavior is causing problems or imbalance, and something has to give in order to live more productively (in whatever realm the health behavior lives in). People still may feel resistance to the change, they may not want to give up a negative behavior but realize it’s not working for them either.
Preparation or determination- This is the pre-action phase or planning phase. Individuals have a plan in place to start behavior change within a month or so. Maybe they have a weekly yoga class lined out, a massage scheduled, or a plan to make a day each week for meal planning.
Action – Change is underway, at least within the last six months. The individual is following through with behavior change with enough time to realize the benefits.
Maintenance – Individual has sustained the health behavior change over six months and is starting to create emotional, mental and physical memory for the perceived benefits of this change.
Termination – Individual has shown no overwhelming or significant desire to return to the perceived negative health behavior. It’s been over six months since the change. Woot woot!
Stay tuned for a future blog about health behavior and how changes can impact you!