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Unlocking the Path Towards Behavior Change: 11 Strategies for Lasting Results

The behaviors we reflected today are the by-product of the repetitive actions, the culture and environment that we grow with, influences of the community we belong to, among others. These behaviors can be desirable or less desirable for us. They can be highly ingrained that they become habits that we automatically do without thinking.


Changing less desirable behaviors are challenging and sometimes discouraging. We need to understand that these behaviors are actions that we learned through time and it is not an overnight process to see drastic changes happening. Behavior change is a journey. It is about altering our habits and behaviors to the long term.


According to Zimmerman, Olsen & Bosworth, stage-based approaches to behavioral changes have proven to be particularly effective in increasing motivation to pursue a goal as they allow for realistic expectations of progress.


One of the models for the stages of change is the Prochaska & Diclemente Stages of Change (also known as Transtheoretical Model). It comprises of the following stages:


Watch this video to get some insights about this model:



What is the behavior would you like to change? Where do you think you are in the stages of change?


Would you like to take the Readiness to Change assessment to give you insight of which stage of change you are? Contact me using this form.


 

Here are the 11 strategies you can use towards behavior change. These are based on some researches made (you can refer to the references below) as well as my experience as a Strengths and Transformational Coach. You may use any combinations of these strategies that suit your needs.




Self-awareness is the key to personal growth and development. When we are self-aware, we have the power to take control of our response, our thoughts and our actions.




According to Simon Sinek, a why statement is a compelling higher purpose that inspires us and acts as the source of what we do.


Understanding our why gives meaning to the things we are doing.




The actions we are doing reflect the values that we have. For example, we tend to spend more time in social media, it may be possible that you value pleasure as social media may give you temporarily reliefs. There are some who spend a lot of time in the gym, some to studies, some to family. Uncovering our values and belief systems gives us an insight of our driven factor of our actions.


Click here for a guide to discover your core values.




There is no more effective way towards change but to seek God and pray. Ask God for wisdom and grace.


We are limited individuals. There are things that are outside of our capabilities. We can fail, feel discouraged. Only God can give us the direction and the change that we need in our lives. Surrendering to him and let him move in your life.




Countering is substituting healthy behaviors for unhealthy ones. For example, eating healthy snacks instead of sugary food, getting more physical exercise instead of just sitting down, read books instead of binge watching.


What unhealthy behavior do you have? What healthy behavior do you think you can substitute for it?




Make modifications to your environment to make it easier for you to achieve behavior change that you are working towards. For example: removing junk foods at home, adding reminders and signs to keep you on track and motivated towards behavior change, not holding your phone during some time.




When you leverage your strengths - what you naturally do best - to achieve a behavior change, it may help you develop a habit more effectively.


The most effective tool to identify your strengths is CliftonStrengths. More than 29 million people have since taken Gallup's CliftonStrengths assessment. It gives people a way to communicate what is right about themselves and others. It gives people a vocabulary to explore one another’s talents, strengths, needs, motivations and contributions in a positive way.


You can visit this link for more information about CliftonStrengths. Also, I am happy to guide you in discovering your strengths, feel free to reach out to me by submitting a request through this form!




Tracking progress can help you assess where you are towards your goal and keeping you focused on it. But don’t overwhelm yourself to the point that you are not enjoying the journey. Even it is challenging or you are not experiencing change, just take steps.


There are people who like to track their progress, there are people who do not.

There are people who plot their long term goals. There are who just focus on short term, or even no timeline at all.


The beauty of tracking progress is you will be able to see where you are in your journey. But don't be stressed when you don't see progress. Rather, take it as a learning.




No man is an island. Everyone needs a community to support him/her in this journey.

Build or join a support team that can encourage you and you can be accountable with. Join groups that shares the same goal as you:

  • Join Special Interest Groups (SIG).

  • Get a coach or mentor to guide you.

  • Seek professional help,

  • Engage a friend to journey together.


Do you need assistance to connect you to a group or a community, feel free to reach out to me and I'd happy to assist as I can!




The right reward is something you value and enjoy, and simple and immediate.

Avoid rewards that have negative effect on your health, will make you feel guilty later, that are chosen to gain approval or appreciation from other people.


For example, after finishing a homework assignment, an immediate reward could be playing a computer game. Another example, after a gym session, a possible immediate reward is to give yourself time to rest and relax. After a long day of work, you can treat yourself to a good meal.




It is okay to slip along the way but don’t treat these slips as failure. Acknowledge what you feel, then stand up and walk again towards your behavior change. Remember, you are making progress, just continue to press on. Use the strategies you learned to manage your slips.


You can download a free copy of the strategies worksheet through this link.


The strategies I mentioned above are not an alternative for any professional help. It is best to seek professional help if you are experiencing behaviors that might be beyond your control or you think you already need it.


Do you need a coach to guide you and inspire you towards behavior change? I am happy to connect with you! Send me a note now!


References:


Positive Psychology Program. B.V. Positive Psychology Toolkit. Readiness to Change. 2020.


Susman, David, PHD. 9 Proven Strategies to Help You Change Problematic Behaviors. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-recovery-coach/201801/9-proven-strategies-help-you-change-problematic-behaviors. 2018.


Zimmerman, Olsen & Bosworth. A ‘Stages of Change’ Approach to Helping Patients Change Behavior. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2000/0301/p1409.html. 2000.




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