Making a change

Are you ready to change your life?

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Every month in Psychologies Magazine, I challenge myself to test theories and road-test research and healthy strategies to change the way I and our readers use food.

But, was I really ready for the challenge and are you? Understanding the six stages of change, a model devised by alcoholism researches, Carlo C DiClemente and J.O. Prochaska, should help you understand yourself better and motivate you to change. They are as follows...


Those in the precontemplation stage of change are not even thinking about changing their destructive behaviour. They may not see it as a problem, or they think that others who point out the problem are exaggerating.


People in this stage are beginning to consider the possibility that they have an issue. They are interested in finding out more but can often be highly ambivalent and refuse to make a decision to change just yet.


This is when we start to make a change, all ambivalence is yet to completely disappear, but there is no more deliberating, as change is now a must and there is now a sense of commitment.


This is when you become a man with a plan. Creating a plan of action that you are committed to stick to can also involve some kind of public declaration. It could be talking to those closest around you informing them of the changes you are making, or it could be signing up for a 10k.


The threat of going back to old patterns diminishes as time goes by, but people often attempt to ‘test the waters’. This is the stage that installing relapse prevention skills to safeguard all you have achieved in the action phase is a must.


This is the ultimate goal. Here you no longer have an issue that you are trying to control, but a healthy attitude towards whatever you have been battling with.