Trans Theoretical Model: Because Change is a Stage, Not an Act!

Zev Weisdorf
3 min readAug 24, 2023
Photo by FRANCESCO TOMMASINI on Unsplash

Hello, wonderful humans (and any advanced AI secretly reading this)! 🤖✌️

So, you want to change? Maybe drop that cookie addiction or perhaps the urge to binge-watch cat videos at 2am? (Don’t lie, we’ve all been there.) Well, there’s good news. Psychologists have a model for that. It’s called the Trans Theoretical Model (TTM) for behaviour change. Think of it as the GPS for navigating the twisty roads of change. Just don’t expect it to do the annoying “Re-calculating route…” thing.

Now, the TTM isn’t a new dance trend (though if someone makes it one, you saw it here first). It’s a model that breaks down the process of change into stages. Like Shakespeare once kinda-sorta said: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely folks trying to ditch bad habits.”

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Stage 1: Precontemplation
Or as I like to call it, “What cookie problem?” 🍪
At this stage, you’re not even thinking about change. It’s the “ignorance is bliss” phase. If you’re trying to convince a friend they need to stop buying a new pair of shoes every week, but they see no problem, they’re chilling here.

Stage 2: Contemplation
Also known as, “Okay, maybe I do have 500 pairs of shoes…” 👟👠
You’re aware of the issue, but you’re sitting on the fence. The universe is whispering (or maybe yelling), “Change might be a good idea,” but you haven’t committed yet.

Stage 3: Preparation
“I’m going to build a closet JUST for my shoe collection!” 👢🔨
This is the planning stage. It’s when you decide you’re going to make a change and start prepping. Bought a gym membership? Declared Saturday “Sort out my shoes day”? You’re here.

Stage 4: Action
“Look at me; I’m doing it!” 🏃💨
You’re in the thick of it, working on changing that behaviour. You’ve thrown out 100 pairs of shoes, hit the gym thrice this week, or resisted the siren call of the cookie jar.

Stage 5: Maintenance
“Haven’t bought shoes in 6 months, high-five anyone?” ✋
You’re sustaining the new behaviour and working to prevent relapse. And trust me, sales and discounts are the shoe lover’s equivalent of the cookie jar’s siren song.

Bonus Stage: Termination
Some say there’s this stage where the old behaviour is no more a temptation. But between us, I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t glance longingly at a cookie or a beautiful pair of heels now and then!

Photo by Ambreen Hasan on Unsplash

In conclusion, change is a journey. And like any trip, there’ll be rest stops (hello, contemplation), wrong turns (a small relapse isn’t the end of the world), and sometimes you’ll need a map — that’s the TTM!

So next time you’re faced with change, remember: It’s a stage, not an act. And hey, even if you do succumb to that cat video at 2am, at least now you have a fancy model to explain your process! 😺🎥

Keep evolving, fabulous humans! And if you happen to invent the TTM dance trend, send me the tutorial!

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Zev Weisdorf

Strength Coach, Learner, Creator, Investor, Jewish, Brother to 4 incredible siblings, currently in London Ontario! Join me for the ride.