Stages of Change and Your Time Choices

Ladder and Sky

Stages of Change: Steps to Your Time Success

Have you heard of the 6 stages of change?

Change is one of the constants in our lives – and we often tend to balk at changes. So that’s where the idea of stages of change becomes really helpful!

In 1997 psychology professor James Prochaska created a very  powerful and effective approach to making revitalizing life changes. His 6-step “Stages of Change” offers very practical and profound support to people at various stages in the process of self-transformation.

His motivation was deeply personal – his own father had died of alcoholism. No one else’s efforts had been able to halt this tragedy. So Prochaska conducted an exhaustive study to learn about people who were able to independently overcome destructive patterns.

How did individuals recover from addictions without outside assistance?  Prochaska discovered that no matter what the initial problem was, each self-changer progressed through six identical transformational stages. Moreover, for each stage, each person utilized strategies unique to that particular phase in her or his transformation.

These discoveries evolved into Prochaska’s famous 6 Stages of Change.  It’s a process that can be mastered by anyone with sufficient motivation. And the stages work brilliantly for those who want to step away from ingrained, unhelpful habits and boost their effectiveness and life-satisfaction.

So, here is how you can make use of Prochaska’s model to transform your relationship to time and more productively manage your time choices:

Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation  

Simple dissatisfaction inspires many to embark on profound journeys to alter how they spend their time. You know “somehow,” that something isn’t working for you. But you may be at a complete loss to understand just how your own time choices actually get in the way of what you want to accomplish.

You might blame others for their distractions and demands. Maybe you judge yourself. But what really matters is that you know, down to your toes, that you want to turn things around!

This is all it takes to get started … and so your exploration begins.

Stage 2: Contemplation

Even though you understand that changes in your time use can be made, you may question your ability to follow through. As you wrestle with the specific challenges you face, you discover something important. On some fundamental level, you may resist the cost of change!

After all, old patterns offer trade-offs. For any change you wish to introduce, you have to let go of some other activity. So to change your pattern, you must change your priorities.  It’s most helpful to affirm to yourself that you alone possess this power and control.

So take all the time you need to weigh the pros and cons. You may then discover that you are more than ready to make the change. It’s important to affirm that you can take one step at a time and move at your own pace.

What’s next? Stay tuned — tomorrow we’ll explore the last 4 stages of change, as you power up your time choices and step more fully into time success!


  1. […] with the 6 Stages of Change developed by James Prochaska.  We looked at the first two stages in yesterday’s post, so let’s continue today, starting with Stage […]

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