developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in the late 1970s studied smokers who quit by themselves and those who needed further treatment

posits that behavioural change, especially of habits, is cyclical

Precontemplation → Contemplation → Preparation → Action → Maintenance → Termination

Precontemplation - people do not intend to take action in the foreseeable future, they do realize their behaviour is harmful or has negative impact; underestimate the pros of changing behaviour and overestimate cons of doing so

Contemplation - people intend to take action in the foreseeable future; more thoughtful and slightly more balanced view on pros and cons. Might still feel ambivalent about change

Preparation / Determination - people are ready to take action in the next 30 days. Start taking small steps. Believe that changing behaviour is good

Action - people show changes and are willing to put in effort; modify their behaviour

Maintenance - have demonstrated change in behaviour for at least 6 months. Intend to maintain change, to not relapse

Termination - People no longer want to go back to old behaviour OR Recurrence - Relapse; very common; but has feelings of guilt and shame, of being a “failure”, will have to start again with preparation, action, or maintenance