Six Stages of Changing Bad Habits

Change is not an event, but a process. Change happens through a series of stages, and most successful self-changers fail at least once before they succeed. Willpower alone won’t do it.

You need to understand the cycle of change, or you risk substituting one bad habit for another, as so often happens when ex-smokers satisfy their craving for “something” by overeating. Success depends on having the right information and knowing how to use it.

Researchers have identified six clear stages in the process of successful self-change:

1. Denial
2. Awareness
3. Preparation
4. Action
5. Maintenance
6. Termination

For most people, the process of breaking a bad habit is not a straight path that takes them from one stage to the next. Successful self-changers usually follow a path that’s more like a spiral: They move forward, go back to a previous stage, and move on to the next level of commitment one or more times before breaking the habit for good.

Quitting a habit cold turkey usually doesn’t work. If a person isn’t ready to move ahead, pushing her into the action stage will cause her to feel like a failure the first time she slips up. She may end up more addicted to her habit than she was before she tried to quit. If she feels guilty and blames herself for failing to break the habit, she will find it even harder to make a commitment to quit the next time.

We have all seen cases close to home. Many of us have experienced the frustration of trying to break a bad habit. As Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy. Personally, I’ve quit many times.” If that sounds familiar, this report is for you.

Whatever your bad habit is, you may have tried to break it many times, too. This time will be different, because you’ll understand that breaking your habit is a process, not an event. You will have the knowledge and the confidence to succeed this time.

Can you really change? Can you really free yourself from bad habits? Millions of people around the world are living proof that you can. This guide will show you how.

Freeing yourself from a bad habit starts by removing the blinders.


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