At this stage people engage in self-directed behavioral change efforts while gaining new insights and developing new skills. Although these change efforts are self-directed, outside help may be sought. This might include self-help efforts, recovery meetings, treatment, or therapy. Characteristics of this stage include: consciously choosing new behavior; learning to overcome the tendencies toward unwanted behavior; and engaging in change actions. We might describe this person as enthusiastically embracing change and gaining momentum.
People in the maintenance stage have mastered the ability to sustain new behavior with minimal effort. They have established new behavioral patterns and self-control. Characteristics of this stage include: remaining alert to high-risk situations; maintaining a focus on relapse prevention; and behavior has been changed for a period of time. They are integrating change into the way they live their life.
Stage Four: Action
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STAGES FOUR AND FIVE