Why Is Change So Difficult?

Change, the process by which you or something becomes different.

Have you ever wondered why some people can quit bad habits or start new ones so easily while others have a hard time. Why some can change on their own while others need professional assistance?

Well, according to the transtheoretical model of behaviour change developed by  J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente in 1983 change takes places in phases and your readiness for change depends on the stage you are in.

The change model:

  1. Precontemplation: (six months)
    • At this stage, the individual is aware that change is needed but has no plans to initiate change. For example: You know that you need to exercise but there is no motivation to start.
  2. Contemplation: (year or more)
    • The individual is now procrastinating- considering the advantages of change, i.e., thinking about exercising but hindered by the downsides- the effort and time needed.
  3. Determination: (few weeks)Stages of Change
    • This is the preparation phase where the individual begins planning how he/she is going to accomplish their new goal (exercising).
  4. Action: (several months)
    • At this point the individual begins engaging in the changed action. For example, starting gym, exercising at home regularly, changing their diet, etc.
  5. Maintenance: (indefinitely)
    • The person is now thinking of ways to maintain their change. Consciously staying away from the old habits to protect the new. Like, not eating junk food and not skipping on workouts. Organising their budgets and schedule to continue with gym.
  6. Termination: (forever)
    • Finally a complete commitment is made to the new habit, with no thoughts or temptation for the old. However, persons rarely reach this stage and can remain in stage 5 indefinitely.

Please not that the time periods can vary from person to person, last months or even years in one stage. This just a guideline to help you understand change and maybe help you to break that habit or start the new one you’ve been thinking about.

Thank you for reading.


Link to Resource

The 6 Stages You Experience When You Try to Change Your Behaviors

2 Replies to “Why Is Change So Difficult?”

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