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Episode 12: The Stages of Change for Moms

Updated: 4 days ago

Woman Walking up Steps
Stages of Change


Welcome to the wellness in every season of motherhood podcast, where we explore what it means to achieve total wellness. I am your host, Autumn Carter. This podcast is geared more towards mothers, but we try to be inclusive of all here as we learn together to get us out of survival mode and into thriving during life transitions.

Picture this: You have dreams, goals, and aspirations for a healthier and happier life, but you may feel stuck or unsure of where to start. That's where the stages of change come in. Developed by psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, these stages offer a roadmap to guide you through the process of making positive changes.

Understanding these stages is like having a secret weapon in your wellness journey. Yes please, I would like that.

It empowers you to identify where you are, set realistic expectations, and find the support and strategies that suit your unique needs. You'll gain insights into your readiness for change, address resistance and ambivalence, and celebrate the progress you make along the way.

Through examples, practical tips, and thought-provoking discussions, we'll help you navigate these stages and unlock your full potential. Whether you're looking to improve your physical health, boost your emotional well-being, or enhance your overall quality of life, the stages of change will be your guiding light.

So, get ready to embark on a transformative adventure. We'll explore the stages of change, weaving them into the tapestry of your wellness journey as a mom. It's time to embrace change, step by step, and embrace the vibrant, fulfilling life you deserve. Let's get started!

What are the stages of change?

The stages of change are different steps that people go through when they want to make a change in their lives. These steps can help us understand how we can make positive changes and achieve our goals. There are typically five stages of change and I am going to use a personal example of needing to get more sleep but make it general because I know I am not the only one in this boat:

1. Precontemplation: In this stage, the mom may not realize or acknowledge that her sleep needs improvement. She might not see any problems with her current sleep habits or may not be aware of the negative effects of poor sleep.

2. Contemplation: In the contemplation stage, the mom starts to think about the possibility of improving her sleep. She may notice signs of sleep difficulties or hear about the importance of good sleep from others. At this stage, she might consider the benefits of better sleep and the reasons why she should make changes.

3. Preparation: Once the mom decides that she wants to improve her sleep, she moves into the preparation stage. Here, she begins to plan and gather resources for better sleep. This could involve creating a bedtime routine, finding comfortable sleep conditions, or learning about relaxation techniques. If you are wanting to learn more about this stage, I will have a podcast in the future about sleep. I did a study on it for my undergrad. In the meantime, check out Live Free Creative episode 191, Sleep Like it Matters.

4. Action: In the action stage, the mom starts implementing her plan to improve her sleep. She puts her preparations into practice and follows through with her sleep routine. This could include going to bed at a consistent time, creating a relaxing environment, and practicing good sleep hygiene habits like avoiding screens one hour before bed.

5. Maintenance: After successfully making changes to her sleep habits, the mom enters the maintenance stage. In this stage, she continues to follow her sleep routine and habits consistently over time. She understands that maintaining good sleep habits is important for her overall well-being.

6. Relapse: It's common for people to experience relapses during behavior change. If the mom slips back into old sleep habits or faces challenges that disrupt her sleep routine, she might find herself in the relapse stage. This is me right now! However, it's important for her to remember that setbacks are normal and she can always start again.It is hard to remember this if you are beating yourself up.

It's important to note that each person's journey through these stages is unique, and it may take time to progress from one stage to another. It's also helpful to seek support from family, friends, or professionals to stay motivated and get guidance along the way.

Remember, these stages of change can apply to many different aspects of life, such as improving study habits, being more organized, or even making healthier choices. By understanding these stages, we can work towards making positive changes in our lives.

And this goes to the next question.

Why should a mom know about these stages of change?

A mom should know about the stages of change because it can help her understand how people make changes in their lives. Sometimes, moms want to help their children or themselves make positive changes, like eating healthier or being more organized. Both will be talked about in my upcoming free workshop called, How to create space, balance, and total wellness in your life when kids are demanding all your attention.

Knowing about the stages of change can help a mom understand that making a change takes time and effort. It's not always easy to change our habits or behavior. But by knowing the stages, a mom can support her child or herself through each step of the process.

For example, let's say a mom wants her child to start reading more books. First, the child might not think there's a problem with not reading much (precontemplation stage). Then, the mom can talk to the child and explain why reading is important and how it can be fun (contemplation stage). Next, they can make a plan together, like setting aside time each day for reading (preparation stage). The child can start reading books and sticking to the plan (action stage). Finally, the mom can encourage the child to keep reading regularly and celebrate their progress (maintenance stage). And this is important to talk about with reading because summer's coming up when we get all the flyers sent home from the libraries for reading challenges so I thought it was very applicable.

By understanding these stages, a mom can be patient, supportive, and help her child stay motivated. It's like knowing the different steps in a recipe to make something delicious. The stages of change help moms understand how to guide their children and themselves in making positive changes in their lives.


Welcome to our mindful moment segment. Here's a body scan meditation specifically designed for moms to help you relax, release tension, and connect with your body. Feel free to share this with other moms to support their well-being.

Find a quiet and a comfortable place to sit or lie down before starting this meditation. If you can't then come back to this portion of the podcast when you can and continue listening to get an idea of what to expect for when you do have the time and space.

We're going to start by taking a few deep breaths allowing yourself to relax and settle into the present moment. And keep breathing and I will keep speaking in this practice. I will guide you through a journey of awareness, connecting with each part of your body, and cultivating a sense of deep relaxation. Remember to breathe naturally throughout the meditation.

We're going to start by bringing your attention to your feet, the very bottom of your body. Notice any sensations you feel here. Keep breathing in and out. Do you feel warm, tingling, or perhaps tension, without judgment, simply observe the sensations.

Now, slowly move your attention up to your lower legs, noticing any feelings or sensations in this area. Allow any tension or tightness to soften as you bring your awareness to your calf muscles, shins, and ankles.

Take a moment to scan through your knees and thighs, feeling the weight and sensation in your upper legs. Allow any areas of tightness or discomfort to soften with each breath.

Gently shift your focus to your hips and pelvis. Notice any sensations in this area. Allow your breath to flow into your lower belly, helping to release any tension you might be holding.

Continue by moving your attention to your lower back, feeling the support of the surface beneath you. Allow your breath to soothe any tension or discomfort as you breathe in and out.

Now, bring your awareness to your abdomen and chest. Feel the rise and fall of your breath, nurturing your body with each inhale and exhale. Notice the expansion and contraction in these areas.

Take a moment to notice your hands and arms. Observe any sensations or feelings, perhaps warmth, coolness, or even tingling. Allow your attention to flow through your wrists, forearms, and elbows.

Shift your focus to your shoulders, noticing any tension or tightness. With each breath, invite a sense of release and relaxation to flow down your arms, all the way to your fingertips.

Take a moment to notice your neck and throat, allowing any tightness to soften. Imagine a soothing wave of relaxation gently washing away any stress or tension in this area.

Now, bring your attention to your face. Notice any sensations in your cheeks, jaw, and temples. Soften any areas of tightness, allowing your facial muscles to relax.

Finally, focus your awareness on the crown of your head. Visualize a soft, warm light gently enveloping your entire body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Feel a deep sense of relaxation and tranquility.

Take a few moments to rest in this state of calmness, feeling the gentle rhythm of your breath, and the connection with your body. Allow yourself to fully embody this moment of stillness and peace.

Take a few deep breaths, gradually bringing your attention back to the present moment. Wiggle your fingers and toes, and when you're ready, open your eyes.

Congratulations on completing the body scan meditation for moms. May you carry this sense of relaxation and connection not just throughout this episode, but with you throughout your day, allowing it to nurture you and then your family. And we will continue on as you continue focusing on the peace and the stillness that has come through your body.


We're going to talk about who came up with the stages of change and why.

Prochaska and DiClemente were mental health professionals who wanted to understand why some people were successful in changing their behaviors while others struggled. They believed that change is a process and wanted to figure out what steps people go through when they want to make a change.

To do this, they conducted research and studied different behaviors, such as smoking, drug addiction, and unhealthy eating habits. They talked to many people and observed their experiences with making changes. Through their research, they discovered that people tend to go through similar stages when trying to change their behavior.

Based on their findings, Prochaska and DiClemente identified five main stages of change:

1. Precontemplation: This is when a person is not yet thinking about making a change. They might not even realize there's a problem or see a need for change.

We call this a blind spot. For example, someone who smokes but doesn't believe it's harmful would be in the precontemplation stage.

2. Contemplation: In this stage, a person starts to recognize that there might be a problem and considers making a change. They may start thinking about the pros and cons of changing their behavior. For instance, someone who smokes might start thinking about the health risks and benefits of quitting.

3. Preparation: In the preparation stage, a person is getting ready to make a change. They start planning and gathering information about how to make the change happen. This might involve setting goals, seeking support, or making a plan of action. For example, someone who wants to quit smoking might research different strategies or seek help from a support group.

4. Action: The action stage is when a person starts taking concrete steps to make the change happen. They put their plan into action and actively modify their behavior. For instance, someone who wants to eat healthier might start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their meals or exercising regularly. Or somebody who is quitting smoking has gotten rid of their cigarettes and they're, for instance, using a Nicorette patch or seeking support some other way. Nicotine gum, you know, whatever.

5. Maintenance: The maintenance stage is about sustaining the change and preventing relapse into old habits. It requires continued effort and commitment. During this stage, people work on reinforcing the new behavior and finding ways to make it a part of their daily lives. For example, someone who has quit smoking may continue to avoid situations or triggers that could tempt them to start smoking again.This is where habit stacking is helpful and I will explain this idea in a couple of weeks.

Prochaska and DiClemente's stages of change have been widely used in psychology, counseling, and healthcare settings to help people understand the process of change and guide them in making positive changes in their lives. I studied it the most in my nutrition classes and then the second most in my health classes that are separate from nutrition but still, you know, related.


Attention stay-at-home moms! Are you ready to take steps towards your dream job but feel unsure of where to start? If you're a mom who wants to return to the workforce and land your dream job, I have incredible news for you! Introducing my 8-week program, designed specifically for moms like you.

I understand that the job search process can feel overwhelming, especially after being away from the workforce for several years. That's why I'm here to provide you with practical tools and strategies that will empower you to navigate this journey with confidence.

In my pilot program, we're already underway, but you can still be among the first to know when the doors open for the next round. Simply sign up online at and stay updated on all the details.

Don't let fear or uncertainty hold you back from pursuing your dream job. Together, we'll make your dream job a reality! Let's take a look at how the weeks are broken down in my course:

Week 1: Introduction and Journal Entries - We'll dive into understanding your motivations, helping you identify your "why" and set the foundation for your journey.

Week 2: Skill Exploration - We'll explore your existing skills and discover how they align with your dream job. This process will help you highlight your strengths and identify areas for improvement.

Week 3: Resume Workshop Part 1 - We'll work on creating a compelling resume and cover letter that effectively showcases your experience and skills. You'll draft a rough version and receive guidance to refine it.

Week 4: Career Exploration - Together, we'll explore various job offerings and introduce an Excel workbook that will assist you in organizing your job search. This week will broaden your horizons and expand your options.

Week 5: Resume Workshop Part 2 - You'll present your resume and cover letter to the group for peer review and feedback. This collaborative approach will provide valuable insights to enhance your application materials.

Week 6 and 7: Job Hunting and Practice Interviews - You'll learn effective job hunting strategies and practice your interviewing skills. We'll cover topics such as applying for jobs, mock interviews, negotiating salaries, and how to decline or accept job offers. Plus, you'll receive updates on the job search process.

Week 8: Closing Out the Class - We'll wrap up the program, celebrating your progress and accomplishments. You'll gain a sense of closure and leave with the confidence and skills needed to embark on your dream job journey.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity! Sign up now at and be the first to know when our doors open. Let's make your dream job a reality together!


Who are James Proshka and Carlo DiClemente?

James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente are psychologists who have made significant contributions to the field of psychology (think mental health), particularly in the area of behavior change and therapy. Let's learn more about them individually:

James O. Prochaska is an American psychologist born in 1942.

He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and has held academic positions at several universities. Prochaska is known for his extensive research on behavior change, motivation, and addiction.

He developed the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (also known as the Stages of Change model) along with Carlo DiClemente.

Prochaska has published numerous research papers and co-authored several books, including "Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward."

He has received several prestigious awards for his contributions to psychology, including the James McKeen Cattell Award and the Innovators of the Year Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Carlo C. DiClemente is an American psychologist born in 1949.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and has held academic positions at various universities, including the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Shout out to where I live.

DiClemente is best known for his collaboration with James Prochaska in developing the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. He has conducted extensive research in the areas of addiction, motivation, and behavior change.

DiClemente has co-authored several books with Prochaska, including "Changing for Good" and "Addiction and Change: How Addictions Develop and Addicted People Recover." He has received recognition and awards for his contributions to psychology, including the Innovators of the Year Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Together, Prochaska and DiClemente have significantly influenced the field of psychology with their work on the stages of change and behavior change theories. Their research has provided valuable insights and frameworks that have helped individuals and professionals better understand the process of making positive changes in behavior and achieving long-lasting transformations. This is why it is studied in many health related certificates as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees.


And now it's time for the "Ask Me Anything" part of the podcast. And the question is, "how do I know if I am coachable?" Being coachable means being open to feedback, willing to learn, and ready to make changes in your life. If you're wondering whether you're coachable, here are some signs to look for:

You have a growth mindset: You believe that your abilities and qualities can be developed through hard work and dedication. You see challenges as opportunities for growth, rather than as obstacles. You're willing to take responsibility for your actions: You understand that you have the power to make choices that impact your life, and you're willing to take responsibility for those choices. You're not afraid to admit when you've made a mistake, and you're open to learning from it.

You're open to feedback: You're willing to listen to feedback from others, even if it's not always positive. You don't take criticism personally, and you use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t worry, I give gentle feedback.

You're committed to your goals: You have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and you're willing to work hard to make it happen. You're committed to your goals and you're willing to make changes in your life to achieve them.

You're willing to try new things: You're open to trying new approaches, even if they're outside of your comfort zone. You're not afraid to take risks, and you're willing to experiment with different strategies to see what works best for you. Curiosity mindset.

If you possess these qualities, it's likely that you're coachable. Keep in mind that being coachable doesn't mean that you're perfect or that you have all the answers. It simply means that you're open to learning and growing, and that you're willing to work with a coach to achieve your goals.


How do the 8 dimensions of wellness and hierarchy of needs relate to stages of change?

The stages of change help us understand how people make positive changes in their lives, like improving their habits or reaching their goals. These stages are connected to the 8 dimensions of wellness and the hierarchy of needs, which are frameworks that help us understand different aspects of our well-being.

A framework is a structured approach or a set of guidelines that provide a foundation for organizing, understanding, and solving complex problems or tasks.

Frameworks often consist of key concepts, principles, and steps that guide decision-making and problem-solving. They provide a systematic way of approaching a problem, breaking it down into manageable components, and identifying the relationships and dependencies between them.

The stages of change are like steps or phases that people go through when they want to make a change. It's a process! Just like when you learn something new, you start with not knowing much and then gradually become better at it.

The 8 dimensions of wellness are different parts of our lives that contribute to our overall well-being. They are like puzzle pieces that fit together to help us feel happy and healthy. These dimensions include things like physical health, emotional well-being, social connections, intellectual growth, and more.

The stages of change and the 8 dimensions of wellness are related because when we want to make a change, we often need to look at different aspects of our well-being. For example, if you want to improve your physical health by exercising more, you also need to consider your emotional well-being (how you feel about yourself), your social connections (who can support you), and your intellectual growth (learning about different exercises).

The hierarchy of needs is a way to understand the things that are important for our survival and well-being. It's like a pyramid with different levels. At the bottom, we have our basic needs, like food, water, and shelter. As we move up the pyramid, we find needs like safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment.

The stages of change and the hierarchy of needs are connected because when we want to make a change, we often start by addressing our basic needs first. For example, if we want to improve our eating habits, we might start by making sure we have enough healthy food to eat (basic need) before moving on to other aspects, like trying new recipes (self-fulfillment).

The stages of change, the 8 dimensions of wellness, and the hierarchy of needs all help us understand different parts of our well-being and how we can make positive changes in our lives. They remind us that change takes time, and we need to consider different aspects of our well-being when working towards our goals.


Welcome to Mom Life Hacks!

Welcome to "Mom Life Hacks," I have a fantastic life hack that will help you keep your car clean and organized. We all know how messy it can get with kids in the car, but fear not, because we have a simple solution for you.

Here's the life hack: "Trash-Free Travel." That's what I'm calling it anyway.

First, let's tackle the issue of accumulating trash in your car. The key is to have everyone in the car take responsibility for their own trash. Encourage your kids and other passengers to remove their trash when exiting the vehicle, regardless of where you are. Simply ask them to place their trash in the nearest trash can. To establish this new habit, consider leaving a note on the dashboard as a gentle reminder until it becomes second nature for everyone.

Now, let's move on to maintaining a clutter-free car. Once you're back home, it's time to declutter. Encourage everyone to remove items that don't belong in the car and put them where they belong. This simple step will ensure that your car stays organized and free from unnecessary clutter.

To take your car cleaning game to the next level, keep a small supply of cleaning materials in your car. When you find yourself waiting in your car, whether it's during school pick-up or sports practice, use this time to wipe down surfaces. Make it a fun activity by involving your kids. Give them their own cleaning cloth and let them help you. Not only will this keep your car clean, but it will also teach your kids about responsibility and the importance of taking care of their belongings.It helps me to remember that kids don't do tasks as well as I can, but it's better than me doing all myself, and it's still getting cleaner than if it's not being done at all. And it helps me feel like I'm not as much of a maid, and they are learning how to do things for themselves, which is always a win.

We hope you found this tip helpful and stay tuned for more fantastic life hacks to simplify your busy mom life.

Why do the stages of change matter in coaching?

The stages of change are highly relevant in coaching because they provide a framework and understanding of how individuals go through the process of making changes in their lives. Here are a few reasons why the stages of change matter in coaching:

Tailoring Coaching Approach: By identifying the stage of change a client is in, coaches can adapt their coaching approach accordingly. Different stages require different types of support and strategies. For example, a client in the precontemplation stage may need more education and awareness-building, while someone in the action stage might benefit from goal-setting and accountability.

Setting Realistic Expectations: Understanding the stages of change helps coaches and clients set realistic expectations. Change takes time, and progress may not always be linear, or predictable. Recognizing that individuals go through different stages allows for patience and a focus on incremental progress rather than expecting immediate results.

Addressing Resistance and Ambivalence: Change often brings about resistance and ambivalence, where individuals may have mixed feelings about the change they want to make. Coaches can support clients by acknowledging and exploring these emotions, helping them navigate through the stages and addressing any barriers or obstacles they may encounter.

Providing Encouragement and Support: The stages of change offer a roadmap for coaches to provide encouragement and support throughout the coaching process. Coaches can celebrate their clients' progress, acknowledge their efforts, and help them stay motivated as they move through the different stages toward their goals.

Enhancing Self-Awareness: The stages of change foster self-awareness in clients. By recognizing which stage they are in, clients gain insight into their own readiness for change and can better understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the change process. This self-awareness empowers clients to take ownership of their journey and make intentional choices.

Overall, the stages of change are valuable in coaching because they guide coaches in tailoring their approach, setting expectations, addressing resistance, providing support, and fostering self-awareness in clients. By leveraging this framework, coaches can better assist individuals in navigating their personal change journeys and achieving their desired outcomes.

Here are some coaching questions to help you gauge where you are at in the stages of change.

Action Stage:

What specific actions have you taken to implement your desired change?

How do you feel about the progress you've made so far?

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered along the way, and how have you been dealing with them?

Maintenance Stage:1. Precontemplation Stage: What are your thoughts surrounding your desired change? Do you see it as something that needs to be addressed or improved?

How has your current situation been working for you?

What are some potential benefits you see in making a change?

What are the drawbacks? Every change has pros and cons, even good change.

Contemplation Stage:

How important is this desired change to you right now? On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you stand?

What are some reasons you might consider making a change at this point in your life?

What are some concerns or fears you have about making this change?

Preparation Stage:

What steps have you taken so far to move toward your desired change?

How confident are you in your ability to make this change? On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you see yourself?

What resources or support systems do you have in place to help you with this change?

How do you plan to sustain the changes you've made?

What strategies or practices have been helpful in maintaining your progress?

How has your perspective or mindset shifted since you started this change process?

In today's podcast episode, we explored the stages of change and how they relate to the well-being of moms. We discussed how the stages of change can help moms make positive changes in their lives, like improving habits or reaching goals. These stages are like steps in a process, guiding us through different phases as we work towards change.

We also learned about the connection between the stages of change and the 8 dimensions of wellness, which are different aspects of our lives that contribute to our overall well-being. These dimensions, such as physical health, emotional well-being, and social connections, intertwine with the stages of change, reminding us to consider various aspects of our well-being when making changes.

Additionally, we explored how the stages of change align with the hierarchy of needs, a framework that highlights the different levels of needs essential for our survival and well-being. The stages of change often start with addressing basic needs before moving towards higher levels of growth and self-fulfillment.

Understanding the stages of change is valuable for moms because it helps them tailor their approach to making changes, set realistic expectations, address resistance and ambivalence, provide support, and enhance self-awareness. By recognizing the stage they are in, moms can navigate their personal change journeys and achieve their desired outcomes.

Remember, change takes time, and progress may not always be linear. By embracing the stages of change, moms can embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life for themselves and their families.

Remember, mom, you are worth taking care of. Embrace self-care, nourish your well-being, and shine bright. Until next time, stay well, stay strong, and keep blooming!


Thank you for joining our wellness discussion this week with Autumn Carter. If you liked what you heard, follow me on Instagram @ MomsWellnessinEverySeason to keep up with the latest wellness tips for moms. Please share the podcast love with others by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want a topic covered in more detail or a free coaching consultation, please dm me on Instagram or send an email through my website wellness in every season. com. I look forward to connecting with you. Please join the discussion next week.



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