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Friday, 8 April 2011

How to Motivate the unmotivated

Here’s Why

Prochaska and DiClemente‘s Trans-Theoretical Model of Change (TTM) explains why people succeed or fail at changing their behavior.
By identifying the five stages that people move through in their attempt to correct a variety of problem behaviors, psychologists are able to identify why some people can make successful lifestyle changes while others get stuck in self-destructive behavior patterns.
The five stages of change are:
  1. Pre-Contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  • Pre-contemplation is the state of ‘no change’. You have no intention to change your behavior. In fact, at this stage, you may be completely unaware of any problem. According to Prochaska, Pre-contemplators are “often characterized as resistant or unmotivated and tend to avoid information, discussion, or thought with regard to the targeted health behavior”.
  • Contemplation is the stage in which you become aware that there is a problem, and you are seriously thinking about overcoming it, but have not yet made a commitment to take action. Contemplators aremore aware of the benefits of changing, but remain keenly aware of the costs. As well, they are often seen as ambivalent to change or as procrastinators.”
  • Preparation is the stage in which you are either intending to take action in the next 30 days or resume the actions that you had already begun, but had recently abandoned. This is the most common stage of the yo-yo dieter and exerciser. Psychologists view this as a transition stage.
  • Action is the stage in which you have made changes to your behavior, experiences or environment in order to overcome their problems. The Action stage involves overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and effort. After 6 months in the Action stage, you get to graduate to the Maintenance Stage.
  • Maintenance is the stage in which you work to prevent relapse and hold on to the gains you achieved in the Action stage. This stage is indefinite, unless you fall off the wagon, and have to start over at the Preparation stage. According to Prochaska, Maintainers “report the highest levels of self-efficacy and are less frequently tempted to relapse”.


If we assume that most overweight people are stuck between the Contemplation and Action stages of change, what we really needs are techniques that can help people move from thinking and obsessing about their weight to actually doing something about it.
Tips that have worked for you or for someone you know.

1 comment:

  1. I am in a constant state of contemplation...