I’m studying for my Communications class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?
How to Change a Habit
The following exercise will help you to practice the process of beginning successful new habits.Choose one of these simple 10 day projects:
- Monitor how many minutes you study each day.
- Monitor how many minutes you exercise each day.
- Make a goal of eating breakfast.Write down what you eat for breakfast each day.
- Keep a list of the fruits and vegetables you eat each day.
- Count how many sodas you drink each day.
- Keep a log of time you sleep each night and make a note of how rested you feel the next day.
- Make a goal of making your bed or picking up your clothes.Record your progress each day.
- You can choose another behavior as long as it is realistic and achievable.You must be able to count it or describe the outcome.Consult with your instructor if you choose this option.
- First, state the problem. Describe the behavior you want to change.What are your roadblocks or obstacles?
- Choose one small behavior at a time. If you can change one small behavior, you can gain the confidence to change another. Choose a small behavior that can be counted and can realistically be accomplished.What small behavior will you use for this project?
- State in a positive way the behavior you wish to establish.
- Count the behavior. Sometimes just becoming aware of your habit is enough to begin making some changes.For example:
- Picture in your mind the actions you might take to accomplish your goal and write them down in the space below.
I will keep a money monitor for 10 days.
I will eat 5 fruits or vegetables each day.
I will sleep 8 hours each night.
For the next 10 days, I will write down all fruits and vegetables that I eat.
- What reward will you use to reinforce the behavior? Rewards are most effective if they directly follow the behavior you wish to reinforce.Remember that good rewards do not have too many calories, cost too much money or involve alcohol or drugs.List your rewards.
- Practice the behavior for ten days. The first three days are the most difficult. If you fail, don’t give up. Just realize that you are human and keep trying for ten days. Think positively that you can be successful. Use the space below or a separate sheet of paper to count how many times you did the behavior each day and what happened. Remember that you can get started on a new habit in ten days, but you will need to continue for about a month to firmly establish your new pattern of behavior.
How did this project work for you?
(From College and Career Success by Marsha Fralick, Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 2005)