Stages of Change Model – Relapse

By December 15, 2011November 14th, 2014Health Coaching, Perseverance, self awareness

Hello all again. Today, I will be talking about the final stage of the Stages of Change Model – The relapse stage.

If you are just joining in then have a look at the first few posts before really digging into this one.

  1. Pre-Contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Planning
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance


Oh no, it is the dreaded relapse stage.  If you have ever tried to pick up a new habit or drop an old one, you know how incredibly difficult it can be to stay on track for the long term.

People get into a routine, they seem to reach maintenance and then all of a sudden, they feel unable to carry on making the right choices and before you know it, they are back to square one again.  How annoying is that?

I remember watching Tloml run through this cycle time and again as he attempted frequently to quit smoking.  Thankfully, he managed this and has been smoke free for about 7 years or so now.  I could never quite understand why he gave in after three whole months of not smoking.  However, having been in the field and helped people quit, I recognize now that this is a very common occurrence when people seek to change their behaviour.

The main problem is the tendency to feel hopeless about the situation as a result of the relapse.  Let me say that this is a pretty normal occurrence and your best bet is to jump right back on the horse and give it another try as soon as possible!  The tendency can sometimes be to go back to pre-contemplation and this makes you feel like you are a hopeless case.

Please let me tell you again: This is so not true.  You struggle the same as I do and the same as any other number of people.  The people who succeed in breaking a habit do it because of persistence, not because they are super human or anything.

So just do not give up even if you fail!  Every day is another day to try again.  Dust yourself off and try again.  In fact, that has reminded me of a song by the late, great Aaliyah.  So here is the video.

I hope you liked that. What do you think about the stages of change?  What stage are you in at present?  I would love to hear from you!

Speak soon!

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