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Thread: The Core Skills of Self-Discipline

  1. #31

    Default Self Directed Behavior modeification

    Self-Directed Behavior Modification

    It is possible to employ some of the principles of classical and operant conditioning in a program of self-directed behavior modification. You begin by choosing one problem to modify. Then you spend a week or so keeping a diary or journal of your normal behavior. The contents of this diary constitute the baseline data you will use to determine what aspects of your behavior need modifying and what actions and feelings that contribute to the problem may be susceptible to behavior modification.
    In this baseline data, you must include every instance of engaging in the target behavior, with entries indicating all the factors at work while you ate or smoked. You'll want to know how much you ate or smoked, whether you did so alone or with others, where you were, how you felt before, during, and after, and any other factors that might be related to your behavior.
    Checking your completed baseline data, you may discover that certain people, situations, or feelings seem to be cues or stimuli for your target behavior. By using the behavior modification technique of stimulus control, you can begin to master the forces compelling you to engage in the habit. If, for instance, you find that you eat too much when you are out with others, control that stimulus by removing it--eat alone. Similarly, if you seem to smoke most while watching television or reading, confine your smoking to other occasions.
    You can support your stimulus-control efforts with a program of rewards or reinforcements for meeting certain behavioral goals. If you are in fact able to, for example, restrict your eating only to mealtimes and only to the dining room, give yourself some predetermined reward, like the purchase of a book or an article of clothing. You can even set up your own token economy by awarding yourself points that add up to rewards you can collect later. You can keep track of the points by carrying toothpicks or similarly portable counters in one pocket or part of a purse and transferring them to another spot as you meet some behavioral goal you've established as worth a certain number of points.
    You can also alter your actions behaviorally by changing the sequence of events, doing things in a novel order and thus disrupting the stimulus-response pattern that may be sustaining your target behavior. And you can employ incompatible behavior, whereby you do something else, rather than your target behavior. For example, if you always seem to bite your fingernails in certain places at certain times, you can weaken the habit by becoming aware of the situations that reinforce it and by arranging to have something in your hands on those occasions (thus acting incompatibly with the habit).
    The success you achieve with self-directed behavior modification depends largely on your willingness to go slowly and stay with the program. You have to keep complete baseline records, consistently use the chosen technique--failure to do so every time, and as soon as your target behavior is manifested, can make your problem worse than before--and try to concentrate on one problem at a time. Make sure that you understand the basic principles of behavior modification before you begin your program, try to keep your goals obtainable, and you should have success in modifying your behavior.
    I thought this was interesting.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Array MissMurder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Ah. I don't like Steve Pavlina. His advice (to me, of course) seems to be the recipe for a life of strong, ever-lasting unhappiness.
    I'm so glad I am not the only one to see him in that light.

  3. #33
    Courage is immortality Array Valiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    8w7 sx/so


    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    So what you're suggesting is the give-up the values goal and find something you will enjoy inherently? either that or try different ways to said goal to finally find something you will enjoy inherently.

    So if you are trying to loose weight, then keep trying different thing till you find something that works?

    What if you have inherent hurdles? How did you get through undergrad, if you hated it?
    Yep, something like that. It's a bloody mystery how I got through. Pure strength of will. Got to reap the benefits later, though. And I guess I had that in mind the last five years or so in school.

    If i'm trying to lose weight, i'll do something I like and eat stuff I like. Simple as that... I like rowing and breakfast diet. It isn't starving, it tastes good and canoeing is really great training for everything down to the waist. For the rest, I walk or take the bike wherever i'm going more or less. I've had a gym membership for about two years, and I pushed myself to go there. But I hated it. Thus I found new solutions. Everything is possible with a little imagination.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  4. #34
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Let's also always remember physical limitations, that are imo to be considered as a constraint in our problem. Some people, for example, have a very high level of energy. For them, choosing an goal (be it an occupation or anything) that requires them to sit still all day will clearly hinder the full usage of their capabilities.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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