ARIA - 4 Stages of Change 


What is ARIA - The 4 Stages of Change?

The Path4Change ARIA Model is a systems-based approach for making real changes in your life. It is a revolutionary approach to navigating the stages of change using positive psychology and behavioral activation techniques. ARIA will help you find new creative ways to improve yourself while helping you uncover your hidden strengths and abilities that will enhance your daily efforts for personal growth and improved wellbeing.

Each stage of change has two complementary components. The top part is the exploratory aspect of ARIA - Awareness, Resilience, Inspiration and Action. The lower part corresponds with a regulatory component - which we fondly refer to as the “gut check.” These are represented by the areas of Acceptance, Resistance, Intention and Accountability.

ARIA helps to highlight moments of decision-making along the path so you can decide your best response. This allows you to be proactive, to know and choose your optimal response within your current situation, and not just react without reflection. Each Action taken is examined in the context of what really matters most to you, according to your goals and values. By keeping these clearly in mind, the ARIA framework can help you decide the best choice for a given situation, each and every day.

The 4 Stages of ARIA:
Awareness / Acceptance
Resilience / Resistance
Inspiration / Intention
Action / Accountability

Balance and Harmony in the Change Process

Lets further explore the two complementary, interconnected, and interdependent aspects of change. In Chinese thought this is referred to as yin-yang, two opposing but not adversarial forces that give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. The components in each stage of change invite a dialog between the two aspects of yourself, your Identity and your Daimon.

These psychic forces, one conscious and the other transcendent within you, are distinct yet complementary. To reach the best possible outcomes in your life, your Identity must work in harmony with your Daimon. By integrating these two aspects of yourself, a flow state is achieved that continuously balances and rebalances your body, mind, emotions, and spirit as you choose the best virtues and actions to take in the world.

Your Conscious and Unconscious Self

The integration of both your Identity and your Daimon will help you actualize your Best Self/Authentic Self. Your Identity (your conscious self or ego) is your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; how you are showing up moment to moment. Your Daimon (your unconscious self, muse, or genius) inspires you with possibility, creativity, potential and purpose.

Your daimon provides you with inspiration and challenges to help you reach your goals and your true potential. It is what transforms an everyday experience into something magical and transcendent. This has a multiplying effect on your Identity (thoughts, feelings and actions) and creates a powerful internal motivation to focus and achieve your goals. Together they create a life full of adventure, fun and excitement, with vitality and purpose to serve in the world, through your personal excellence and moral virtue.

As you develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of your inner self, you will begin to uncover areas that have prevented your personal growth, as well as highlighting your untapped strengths and true potential. Your journey becomes easier, more enjoyable and exciting as your actions reflect your heart’s desire.

By increasing your strengths and abilities within ARIA, you will develop what the Greeks refer to as Arete (personal excellence and moral virtue). Your daily activities will reflect your true potential, while bringing out your best in any given situation. This state, called flourishing, leads to intense flow states and eudaimonia, a truly fulfilling life.

How Does it Work? 

To make it easy to understand and access whenever you want, an interactive online user interface has been created. It is represented in a hex agonal diagram called the Optitron. The four stages of ARIA move out from the center of the hexagon in a visual representation of growth. This allows you to see at a glance what particular virtue, strength, approach or action is needed at any given moment.

The hexagon displays the 6 virtues and 24 character strengths, organized into the four stages of change. All of the character strengths are color coded to indicate which of the six Virtues is associated: Wisdom is purple, Transcendence is blue, Courage is red, Temperance is green, Humanity is orange, and Justice is yellow.

Make Changes with ARIA 

Apply ARIA to a significant life change, or a relatively minor life decision.  Here are just a few of the ways ARIA can be used to help you flourish and grow:

  • Explore your current strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify self-defeating beliefs, thoughts and emotions
  • Break out of old habits that hold you back
  • Create new positive habits
  • Overcome fears and doubts
  • Become more mindful
  • Discover your true passion or purpose
  • Find self worth, happiness and inner peace
  • Connect more meaningfully with others
  • Deal with daily stress, anxiety and frustrations

Within ARIA the following questions can be explored:

What do I Want, Wish or Hope for in my life?
What do I need to face at this time?
What could I do with my current resources?
What am I doing that is currently hindering my progress?
Why change? What is my motivation for change?
What am I willing to commit real energy and effort to obtain?
What specific action can I take?
How will I measure and learn from this action?

Who Created ARIA?

The ARIA framework was developed by Dan Kimball, the founder of Path4Change. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and Certified Coach. Dan has over 35 years experience in the helping profession, working in hospital settings, residential programs and in private practice. The ARIA model is now offered through the website as a way to help others access positive psychology tools and techniques to improve their lives.