The action stage is what most of us picture when we think about change, the actual practice of the new way of being.
The action stage involves a very active process of practicing the new behavior for 3-6 months. After three to six months the change becomes easier to maintain.
The focus is on restructuring cues and social support. People who can help the person make the change are critical.
Equally important is avoiding cues (reminders) of the old self-destructive way of being. If there are places, or people, that trigger craving they should be avoided in the action stage.
Clinicians and supporters work to bolster self-efficacy for dealing with obstacles. They point out successes. And they normalize the challenges that everyone experiences.
There may be a need to combat feelings of loss and to reiterate the long-term benefits of the change. Success in the action stage often depends on the ability to focus more on the positive aspects of change than on the things lost.