Printable Stages of Change Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Stages of Change worksheet?

This worksheet is based on the Transtheoretical model (TTM)  which is an integrated model that proposes that all individuals go through a series of six stages when they set out to achieve a behaviour change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. It acknowledges that progression through these stages is not linear but follows cyclical patterns with instances of relapses to previous stages before beginning again. 

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will provide a comprehensive description of the six stages of change as proposed by the Transtheoretical Model. It can help therapists or counsellors determine where their client’s currently stand in their behaviour change process so that they can be guided and supported accordingly. 

How to use the worksheet?

This worksheet provides information about each of the 6 stages of behaviour change. It can be used by therapists or counsellors as a guide to determine the right kind of help their clients need based on which stage of the process they are on.

Printable Stages of Change Worksheet

Stage 1: Precontemplation
No intention of taking any action in the next 6 monthsNot yet accepted the fact that a change needs to be made or that their behaviour is a cause of distress for themMay show defensive behaviour or signs of ‘denial’ about their current bad habits when their condition is brought to lightStrategies to helpAwareness of ill effects of current behaviourAnalyse the risks of current behaviour

Stage 2: Contemplation
At this stage, people are at a position where they are considering a change needs to be made (within 6 months)They are analysing the risks and benefits of their actions and the needed changeAlthough they are still not entirely convinced the long term benefits of the change are worth the effortThis stage may go on for a much longer time and many even give up on this stageStrategies to helpWeigh both the short term and long term  pros and cons of current behaviour and the change neededAnalyse what is hindering them from beginning the change

Stage 3: Preparation
Determined and motivated  to make a change in the next 30 daysThey understand the need to change and have begun a slow journey to make that change happenThey are actively involved in the process and are experimenting with what could workThey are thoroughly investigating and gathering resources to help them make that change successfulStrategies to helpMake a vision boardLay out an action planFind ways to maintain motivation

Step 4: Action
The change required has been made (within the past 6 months)They are taking the steps they need based on the information and resources they have gathered. At this stage the risk of relapse is very high. Any failure can lead to regression to previous stagesStrategies to helpCrucial time to seek social support that can keep then in checkMinimise failures and reward successful attemptsKeep the benefits of the behaviour change in mind

Step 5: Maintenance
They have successfully maintained the behaviour change (in the past 6 months)Making efforts to keep up with the behaviour change and avoiding falling into former bad habits.They are fully convinced the new behaviour change was the right choice and must be maintainedThey are actively avoiding any triggers or temptations that may push them into their former unhealthy behaviour patterns. Strategies to helpGather and review coping strategies to prevent relapseContinue to reward successes and minimine failuresIdentify triggers and barriers  and steps to overcome them
Step 6: TerminationThe required change has been made successfullyThere is no intention to return to old behaviour patterns 


Prochaska, J. O., & Velicer, W. F. (1997). The transtheoretical model of health behavior change. American Journal of Health Promotion, 12(1), 38–48.

You can download this worksheet here.

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