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Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  843 ratings  ·  64 reviews
How many times have you thought about starting a diet or quitting smoking without doing anything about it? Or lapsed back into bad habits after hitting a rough spot on the road to recovery?

To uncover the secret to successful personal change, three acclaimed psychologists studied more than 1,000 people who were able to positively and permanently alter their lives without ps
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published June 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
(I'm thinking about changing a bad habit or a few, not just ones mentioned here. The book doesn't look much, but surprised me.)

This book is about overcoming bad habits-
like smoking, alcoholism, overeating, drug addiction, gambling issues, overworking, sexual irresponsibility, anxieties
- in 6 clear steps, though the authors clearly say that not all habit can be done without a professional therapist of some sort. That said, this is a pretty clear (it was meant to be quite simple), and amazingly st
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coaching
In this book, James Prochaska provides a model of behavioral change that attempts to reconcile hundreds of other models; hence the name of Transtheoretical Model of Behavioral Change. It has been labeled as a "revolution in the science of behavior change" but I find the work important because it offers a simple framework in which much self-change can occur. The model is composed of six different stages and Prochaska points out that success in adapting a healthier behavior relies on the individua ...more
Carrie Mullins
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a well-researched yet common sense guide to changing bad habits. The authors explain six stages of change they recognized after studying thousands of people who have made positive changes on their own. These stages do indeed feel universal, and somehow remind me of Joseph Campbell distilling the universal phases of the Hero’s Journey after studying thousands of human stories. Anyone who wants to make a positive change would benefit from reading this. I’ll definitely be reading it twice.
This book has some very fascinating and helpful insights into the processes of human change. The framework of dividing change into stages makes so much sense to me and the fact that different techniques for change work differently/better or worse during different stages was also a very helpful insight.

This book was very helpful for me to improve my understanding of how to more effectively change and move myself through the stages as I work on becoming healthier and other personal goals.

A very p
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book changed my life, and I witnessed it change many others'. I worked at a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens that used this book as an outline for their clinical model and it worked beautifully. I saw kids change in the 15 months that they were there. If you are a smoker, or trying to diet, or dealing with bipolar, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse - even family or attachment issues - this book can help you. Read it with an open mind - and take this from someone who is n ...more
Joshua Caraballo, PsyD
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this book and all its contents. :-)
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How do people change? For generations, folk wisdom told us that changing an undesirable behvaior was a simple matter of "willpower."

But beginning in the 1980s, psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente began research which would challenge the "simple willpower" model of change:

"Many people we have interviewed first tell us, 'I just woke up one morning and quit [smoking].' [But w]hen we ask more detailed questions, they begin to remember....[1] They remember the weeks prior to that fatef
Robert Bogue
Change books generally fall into two broad categories. The first category of books is targeted at the super-large organization and describes structures for change that involve hundreds or thousands of people. The second category of change books are focused on how to accomplish the individual changes necessary. The first category generally acknowledges that all change is individual change. That any organization doesn’t change unless its people change. That source of awareness seems to come back t ...more
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a great book improve your lifestyle and to end a bad habit such as drinking, overeating, smoking, other drug habits, anger issues, continuous thoughts of distress, etc. The technique for changing bad habits is known as "the stages of change approach", and has been proven to be more successful than other methods, that are more action based. There were several examples based on real life experiences throughout the book.

The stages of change are 1. Precontemplation, 2. Contemplation, 3. Pre
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting study of how people change. In my opinion, from a Christian and Reformed perspective, it could supplement well a study on sanctification or counseling to someone stuck in addictions or bad habits.

Reformed Christians understand that true heart change is a work of grace, and yet there is always a human component to change. In biblical terminology, we do "work out" our salvation (though we do that because God "works in" us). And so one, I think, can read a book like this seeing i
Kat Robey
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good overall and concrete look at the process of change-examples of smoking, drinking, and overeating as habits are used to address offer a framework to explore underlying reasons for the choices we make. Rather than thinking the book is only targeted to these three issues or habits—Case examples, studies, statistics, and exploration of psychological paradigms offer context such that the reader can apply strategies to ANY behaviors s/he would like to improve.
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it
"It wasn't always easy. There were times when Gail lapsed. When she felt unappreciated at work or at home, she was tempted to indulge in a late night binge. And sometimes she gave in to the temptation. But she didn't sleep as well afterward, she didn't feel as well in the morning, and she never felt any more appreciated." (201).

This book was a bit dense at moments but ultimately lowkey helpful?
Jun 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. I read it primarily to understand what it was that I did when I went through significant changes in my own life, and with the idea towards being a support to others seeking to change.

The book helps one recognize what stage of change they are in and gives help to understand and move through the stages.

The stages are: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action. Maintenance, Termination.
Caroline Abbott
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant. Do you ever wonder why someone just WON'T change? Could be they are not even contemplating change, they are in the pre-contemplative stage. Did you know there are different interventions that you should try with a person depending on the stage of change they are in? This book was so enlightening to me! ...more
Coreena Witzig
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was assigned to read this book for a class and found it much more interesting than expected. It goes through the stages of change and the processes of change that make it happen. It can be used to help yourself, a friend, or clients in a professional setting. This book is worth reading, especially if you work in a field where you are trying to help others make a change in their lives.
Ana Duran
Jan 11, 2022 rated it liked it
The book was beneficial in understanding of how change works. It is worth reading if you want to understanding the behaviour and the processes of change.
However, there is plenty of opportunity to condense the material, it drags on more than necessary. Also, more appropriate language could have been implemented.
Michael McCluskey
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm taking a Habit Change 12-week online class for credit this Fall semester at the community college where I work. I appreciate the science, but it's much like most other such works, glossing over specifics. Interesting and useful for the habit I plan on confronting for the class, soda-drinking. ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
It was a good read, despite not the easiest. The way it was written was a bit boring.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent information on how we change and how to recognize where we and others are in the process of changing.
David Elizardi
Jun 13, 2019 marked it as good-reviews-and-sounds-interesting
Recd by Elizabeth - read during MAPP
Cynthia Wells
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Illuminating book on how change happens and what sustains change.
Joel Schaefer
Jan 18, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coaching
This was required reading for a course that I am taking, so I was not personally motivated to find a source of change for myself, but rather to understand the process. However, understanding the concepts that are required for successful change were enlightening, and helped me understand how I have incorporated these steps for successful change. Without a strong motivation to change something, this book feels more like a textbook on change, but it is written well and reads easily.
Sarah Cottrell
Mar 13, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for a class. The model it proposes is fine as a descriptive matter, but the substance is disturbingly shallow and not trauma-informed. I would never recommend this book to anyone.
Laurie Woodside
Aug 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
Good ideas, a little dated.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great book about change and how it happens (or doesn't). It takes a well documented approach that sets most of change theory on its head.

Conceiving of change as a multi-level, multi-faceted process instead of a one-time, winner-take-all decision is a significant shift (at least in my thinking) for individual change. Institutional and group change has seemed to work that way, but individual change has always seemed to work differently.

The additional insight of Prochaska's book is that the pro
Nic Brisbourne
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book this, completely changed my understanding of how people make difficult changes in behaviour. Processes draws on his clinical experience and academic research to identify the give phases of change:
- pre-contemplation (aka denial, not yet ready to contemplate change)
- contemplation (thinking about it, but not yet ready to change)
- preparation (committed to change and getting ready to start)
- action (in the midst of change e.g. just given up smoking)
- maintenance (i.e. avoiding relapse)

Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book in 1994. If you have ever tried to break a bad habit or form a new good habit, this book will help you understand the six stages of change.

It provides insight into the process that can happen with and without professional help. These psychologists studied what was the difference between people who succeeded in making change and those that didn't. The insights were drawn from their clients and people who did not seek professional help in making change. The steps to successf
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: old-colony

I randomly picked this up while I was in my town library picking up DVDs. I was looking for a little help in motivation and I'd say it's a decent overview of the process people go through when changing. Needless to say, like anyone else, I have some habits/issues I'd like to address, so I thought this might help. Only time will tell but I think there are some good ideas here, even if I had to hold my nose and take the plunge (I'm not big on psychology or on self-help books that aren't really, re
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! This takes the mystery out of what one needs to do to creating permanent behavior changes in your life. This looks at the process of change from all perspectives, the person who wants to change, the person who wants to inspire change, one who has failed to change etc..

I appreciate the depth of detail in each phase of change with the psychological analysis and actionable steps. I felt a connection to the personal narratives and appreciated the scientific support, though I ma
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
This book talks about serious reasons for change such as drinking, drugs and the like.
My problem is complex. It has to do with how I deal with money. And since my spouse is effected by this it's gets even more complex.
I usually read books and give them away. This one I'm selving because I'll need to reread it to deal with the ongoing problem.
I learned that there are 4 steps to change and I'm in the 4th stage, maintenance. I felt good that I'm in the 4th stage until I realized I'll always be in t
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“Functional analysis: learn your ABC’s In addition to monitoring, try to track the events that immediately precede and follow your problem behavior. Do you drink more when something makes you feel angry? Lonely? Happy? What happens right after an angry outburst? Does the other person give in? Do you have a drink? Or do you withdraw to be alone? What makes you crave a piece of cake? How does eating it make you feel? This “functional analysis” can illuminate what is controlling the parts of your life that seem out of control. It is easy as A (antecedents) B (behavior) C (consequences). Antecedents can trigger a problem behavior, while the consequences reward or strengthen it, no matter how maladaptive it is.” 0 likes
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