Stages of Readiness for Change


Publication: 2013-10-07


There is some interesting research that shows that people who successfully change their behavior go through a series of five stages-and usually cycle through these stages three to four times. (The sixth stage, Termination is at the end of the cycles.) It is important to recognize where you are in the cycle of change, so you can set appropriate goals and action steps. According to James O. Prochaska, the psychologist who identified the cycle, each stage requires different strategies or tools. If you set goals that you are not ready for, you set yourself up for failure. Similarly, if you choose goals that you have already mastered, you will delay your progress. But if you match your goals to your stage of change, you will maximize your ability to change. The descriptions of each stage listed are taken from Prochaska's book Changing for Good.

Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Center for Spirituality & Healing


With nearly two decades of experience in healthcare innovation, the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing has played a pivotal role in improving the health and wellbeing of people, organizations and communities locally, nationally and internationally. Our remarkable faculty, experts drawn from the University and community, are committed to innovation, service and social change. Aligned with the University's mission of education, research and service, the Center is a pioneer in forging new paths for interprofessional education and research - breaking down silos and disciplinary boundaries. Our diverse and multidisciplinary faculty strive to advance health and wellbeing around the world.


  • University of Minnesota

  • Charlson Meadows

  • James O. ProchaskaProchaska, J.O., Norcross, J.C., Diclemente, C.C. (1994). Changing for Good. New York: Avon Books.