To develop a successful behavior change program, you need detailed information about your own behavior patterns. You can obtain this information by developing a system of record keeping, geared toward your target behavior. Depending on your target behavior, you may want to monitor a single behavior, such as your diet, or you may want to keep daily activity records to determine how you could make time for exercise or another new behavior. Consider tracking factors such as the following:
- The behavior
- When and for how long it occurs
- Where it occurs
- What else you were doing at the time
- What other people you were with and how they influenced you
- Your thoughts and feelings
- How strong your urge for the behavior was (for example, how hungry you were or how much you wanted to watch TV)
In the assignment box, create a format for a sample daily log for monitoring the behavior patterns relating to your target behavior. Evaluate the log you have created as you use it. Ask yourself if you are tracking all the key factors that influence your behavior; make any necessary adjustments to the format of your log. Once you have developed an appropriate format for your log, use a separate notebook or paper record (your health journal) to keep track of your behavior for a week or two. These records will provide solid information about your behavior that will help you develop a successful behavior change program. Later activities in the behavior change process will have you analyze your records.
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