In the fourth stage of the Transtheoretical Model of Change (Prochaska & DiClemente), we move to Action. The characteristics of the action stage include:
- Tangible, observable behaviour changes. The people around us can see changes and will often comment on them; further encouraging us to keep on track.
- We have moved from wanting the change to learning what we needed to do to create the change, to actually taking the steps to feel the change.
- Feeling the change is an important step in the action stage, as we also tend to experience roadblocks and even relapses in this stage.
- The action stage requires rewards along the way. When we build in rewards, it helps to safeguard us against full relapse.
It is important to note that we often equate behaviour change only with action. While putting our plan into place is an imperative piece of reaching maintenance, the transtheoretical model of change sees the action stage as one of the five stages. In order to reach our goal, we need to go through the pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation stages as well as the action stage.
Tomorrow’s post will feature the 5th step, the Maintenance Stage.
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