With professional athletes, practice and good coaching help players master the skills of the trade. And so it is with you. Making changes in your behavior requires practice and coaching, too. In this program, youll learn the skills of self-directed change. With these skills, youll be able tocontinue with your behavior change plan even after youve completed the
program. There are three basic skills of self-directedchange. They are: (1) self-monitoring, (2) self-evaluation and (3) self-reinforcement. In self-directed change, you continue to cycle through thesethree stages until you achieve your goals.
Self-monitoring is an activity whereby you observe those behaviors that you want to change. The behavior can be one that you currently do inexcess and want to decrease (such as eating ice cream when you watch television). Or it can be one you currently arent doing frequently enough(such as exercising). To effectively self-monitor a behavior, it is important to record its frequency and duration.
The process of self-evaluation involves comparing the results of your self-monitoring process to the goals which you would like to achieve.
SELF-REINFORCEMENT AND ACTION PLANNING
Self-reinforcement is the process of reacting to the results of your self-evaluation. If a goal has successfully been achieved (e.g. exercise 4 timesper week, 30 minutes each time), a reward is provided (e.g. a long, luxurious bubble bath) and the behavior is continued. If a goal is notsuccessfully completed, think about what prevented you from meeting your goal and using the problem solving process described on the nextpage, develop a revised action plan.Setting realistic goals is an important part of the process. Remember, goals should be your own, specific and achievable. When you set goalsusing these principles, you also create a workable action plan. The remaining step of action planning is specifying precisely what, when, whereand how you will achieve your goal statement.
In the space below, list a behavior you want to change AND how you would like to change it. The behavior can be one you are doing too frequently(eating donuts every day at breakfastId rather eat cereal or toast at breakfast) or not enough (Im not exercising enoughId like to take a 15minute walk at lunch).
Step 1. Self monitoring
determine how you will monitor the behavior listed above. (Example: in the case of eating too many donutsyou might chose to write down what you eat every morning.)
Step 2. Self evaluation
in the space below, note how frequently you executed the behavior and how this observation compared withyour goal. (Example, I usually eat donuts 5 days out of the week. My goal is to take a walk instead of having a donut.)
choose a non-food reward if you have reached your goal. If you did not achieve your initial goal dontworry! Instead, apply the problem solving process to develop a revised action plan.
REVISED ACTION PLAN:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Lesson 2.ASelf-Directed Change