Best Body Exercises At Home
People seldom progress through the stages of change in a straightforward, linear way. Rather, they tend to move to a certain stage and then slip back to a previous stage before resuming their forward progress. Research suggests that most people make several attempts before they successfully change a behavior; four out of five people experience some degree of backsliding. For this reason, the stages of change are best conceptualized as a spiral in which people cycle back through previous stages but are further along in the process each time they renew their commitment (Figure 1.5).
• Raise your awareness. Research your target behavior and its effects.
• Be self-aware. Look at the mechanisms you use to resist change, such as denial or rationalization. Find ways to counteract these mechanisms.
• Seek social support. Friends and family members can help you identify target behaviors and understand their impact on the people around you.
• Keep a journal. A record of your target behavior and the circumstances that elicit the behavior can help you plan a change program.
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• Do a cost-benefit analysis. Identify the costs and benefits (both current and future) of maintaining your behavior and of changing it. Costs can be monetary, social, emotional, and so on.
• Identify barriers to change. Knowing these obstacles can help you overcome them.
• Engage your emotions. Watch movies or read books about people with your target behavior. Imagine what your life will be like if you don’t change.
• Create a new self-image. Imagine what you’ll be like after changing your target behavior. Try to think of yourself in new terms right now.
• Think before you act. Learn why you engage in the target behavior. Determine what “sets you off” and train yourself not to act reflexively.
• Create a plan. Include a start date, goals, rewards, and specific steps you will take to change your behavior.
• Make change a priority. Create and sign a contract with yourself.
• Practice visualization and self-talk. These techniques can help prepare you mentally for challenging situations.
• Take short steps. Successfully practicing your new behavior for a short time even a single day can boost your confidence and motivation.
• Monitor your progress. Keep up with your journal entries.
• Change your environment. Make changes that will discourage the target behavior for example, getting rid of snack foods or not stocking the refrigerator with beer.
• Find alternatives to your target behavior. Make a list of things you can do to replace the behavior.
• Reward yourself. Rewards should be identified in your change plan. Give yourself lots of praise, and focus on your success.
• Involve your friends. Tell them you want to change, and ask for their help.
• Don’t get discouraged. Real change is difficult.
• Keep going. Continue using the positive strategies that worked in earlier stages.
• Be prepared for lapses. Don’t let slip-ups set you back.
• Be a role model. Once you have successfully changed your behavior, you may be able to help someone else do the same thing.
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