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.
Stage Five: Maintenance
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.