Readiness For Problem Behavior Change Quiz

How ready are you to change? Take this 10 question quiz to find out.

Professor James O. Prochaska and his colleagues at the University of Rhode Island developed the Transtheoretical Model of Change in 1977. The five stages of change were constructed from many years of analyzing different theories in psychotherapy. The process of a specific behavior change typically follows a series of stages:

1. Precontemplation – “I can’t change this behavior” or I won’t change this behavior”

2.Contemplation– “I might change this behavior”
◾Individuals hoping to enter the preparation stage must first define their motivators, obstacles and solutions.

3.Preparation(0-3 months) – “I will change this behavior”
◾The individual will create a set of necessary guidelines and seek support for the ensuing attempt at change.

4.Action(3-6 months) – “I am changing this behavior”
◾It’s common that within this stage individuals relapse. Successful lifestyle change stems from the ability to recover from such slips.

5.Maintenance(6+ months) – “I still am changing this behavior”
◾Continued adherence to the new behavior for an extended period of time will lead to the habit becoming part of the everyday lifestyle.

Are you thinking about changing a particular behavior? Take this 10 question “ready or not” quiz and see just how ready you are. Use the key at the end of the quiz to help better understand what stage you might be in.

1. Regarding my awareness about this behavior:

a. Others have suggested that I have a problem behavior but I don’t agree.

b. I might have a problem behavior but I am not sure.

c. I have a problem behavior.

2. When a loved one or trusted friend suggests that I may have a problem behavior …

a. I am likely to tune them out, change the subject or get defensive.

b. I don’t like it, but I know that they see something that worries them and are right in

expressing concern.

c. I am ready to listen and talk about it.

3. This problem behavior …

a. is really just a nuisance and I don’t have time to deal with it.

b. is causing me worry and/or distress.

c. is causing me, and some of the people I care about, significant worry and/or distress.

4. When I think about my problem behavior …

a. I usually make excuses, rationalize or minimize its impact on my life.

b. I want to change but I don’t because of fear, pride or lack of motivation.

c. I really want to change but don’t know how to begin or continue once I start.

5. Regarding knowledge of my problem behavior:

a. I know very little about it.

b. I have begun learning more about it.

c. I have learned a great deal about it.

6. Regarding my knowledge of resources for my problem:

a. I don’t know of any resources.

b. I have learned about some of the resources available but don’t feel I have enough


c. I have more than adequate knowledge about how or where to get help.

7. Regarding my current motivation for change:

a. I have practically no, or very little, motivation at this time.

b. I have some motivation to change but I will need more to succeed.

c. I am very motivated to change.

8. Regarding my current plans to change:

a. At this time, I have no plans to change.

b. I am thinking about change and the impact it would have on my life.

c. I have a definite plan for change.

9. Regarding my support for change from others:

a. I have almost no support from others.

b. I have some support but it may not be enough.

c. I have excellent support.

10. Regarding previous attempts to change:

a. I have never seriously attempted to change this behavior.

b. I have tried to change on one or more occasions but have failed miserably.

c. I have tried to change before and have had some temporary success.

Scoring key

If you answered “a” to any question, give yourself 1 point.

If you answered “b” to any question, give yourself 5 points.

If you answered “c” to any question, give yourself 10 points.


Total your score. If your score is:

10-15 points, you are in the precontemplation stage. Your score suggests that you are not yet ready to engage in changing this problem behavior.

16-40 points, you are in the contemplation stage. Your score suggests that you are considering

changing this behavior but are not quite ready. People in this stage seek knowledge and additional encouragement before they engage in behavior change.

41-100 points, you are in the preparation stage. Congratulations. Your score suggests that you are preparing to change this behavior. People in this stage have acquired additional knowledge and support and have a viable plan.

Sources: Changing for Good by J.O. Prochaska, J. C. Norcross, and C.C. DiClemente. Morrow, 1994; The Transtheoretical Approach: Crossing the Traditional Boundaries of Therapy by J.O. Prochaska and C.C. DiClemente. Krieger Publishing Company, 1984.

Rita SterlingReadiness for Problem Behavior Change Quiz