ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Process of Change

Updated on October 27, 2017

How to make a change easy?

Change is necessary and unavoidable in our lives. Change is hard and stressful. Acknowledging the changes that we need to make in our lives can be a slow and painful process. And it's easy to get discouraged when you try and don't get the results you were hoping for. But the reality is that just making the effort is, in fact, progress.

The aim of this article is to find ways of making those changes more easily.

Process of Change

James Prochaska and Carlo Diclemente

James Prochaska and Carlo Diclemente have developed the Process of Change. This Process is unique and is based on the studies of the dynamics of permanent lifestyle changes. The uniqueness of human life is this ability of permanent change.

The model of Change consists of six predictable stages, and every person that changes should go thought them to achieve changes and a result. Each stage is important in determining a successful outcome. Skipping a stage negatively affects the success rates. The speed of the travel through stages is strongly individual.

Process of Change:

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


The first stage is precontemplation.

During this stage, a person does not consider the idea of change seriously. This stage is like a prelude. We do not consider ourselves to have any particular problems, and we don't think any changes are required. We may be aware that our behaviors are not supporting our health, but we refuse to even think about doing anything to change the situation. In most cases people around are the ones who notice that we need some changes, but their advice is not able to reach our conscious.

This stage is called also the resistance stage.


The second stage is the contemplative stage.

Eventually our discomfort leads us to the second stage. This stage starts the cycle of change: we begin to accept the problem and start thinking on how to solve it, but we are not yet ready to act. We think about the behavior, and it no longer satisfies us the way it once did. We start to think or contemplate on the possibility of change, and become determined to take an action. Then specific alterations in thinking and behaving are initiated.

People are very sensitive to any kind of advice or coercion. We need to arrive at the point when we find the necessary changes by ourselves. All changes always start in our heads and in our thoughts. Of course there could be, and in most cases there is, a push from outside, but it results in our action only if we are predisposed to consider the changes from inside not as a result of outer pressure.

The decision should be individualized. Timing is very important, and it is easy to miss the right period we should enter into the next stage. This is an important period. During this stage we assess all short and long-term consequences for understanding and analyze the pros/cons of remaining the same and the pros/cons of changing.

Then we are ready to make the next step.


The third stage is the determination stage.

It involves the decision to change and active preparation for doing so: creating a climate where positive change can occur. If we have considered all aspects - that what we gain is more important than what we lose or give up, determination will lead directly into action. Not all things or behavior should be given up completely. We have to know specifically what we need to modify in our lifestyle and what about it is better to be left unchanged. It is better to avoid the "all or nothing" politics.

Little change can lead to great improvement and move us closer to the goal. Of course it is important to establish a goal, which works with us. A goal, which is reasonable for me, may be unreasonable or inadequate for someone else. Our goals must be consistent with our capabilities, our values, and our needs.

We should consider carefully, but should not be rigid - any change, which adds happiness, is great!


After the first three phases we are ready for sustained action, and we enter into the action stage.

We are able to start action only after we have spent a considerable amount of time in the first three phases. We should not neglect the time spent there and trying to skip or minimize these first phases because this can seriously affect our ultimate success.

Action involves doing it! This period can be very challenging - we do things probably the first time in our lives. We are excited, but then we start to get tired or bored and the first excitement vanishes and there are two possibilities to enter into the maintenance stage or into relapse.


To maintain changes, we must practice living a less harmful lifestyle until doing so becomes automatic. This is quite ok; if we cant maintain the changes from the first attempt. It is important not to give up, and make some modifications, if necessary. We have lived with our old addictions and behavior for years and we can't expect them to vanish at once. We have to be patient with ourselves.

These action and maintenance stages can last for months, even years, but eventually can culminate in a real integration of the new behavior referred to as the termination stage. However, sometimes we relapse or backslide. We should not consider the relapse as the end of the world. It is human. We learn and get skilled to the new life style through doing and through making mistakes.

Good intentions and ability to move again are important, especially after failing. It is better to look at the relapse in terms of degree. Relapses can vary in severity, as can our reactions to them. Maybe we need to reconsider our goals.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is lifestyle coach in holistic stress management and mindful eating and Licensed Am I Hungry? mindful eating workshops Facilitator for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.

If you'd like to talk about working with me, please contact me directly at with a brief description of your situation.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 

      5 years ago from NJ

      Thanks, great information.

      I love they way you broke down the process, of change and exactly how to go about it. Change can be very overwhellming for many of us and is a lifelong process. I have read that it takes between 18 and 224 days to make a change that sticks.

      Is this your opinion?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)