suggestions are given in that chapter for overcoming resistance to
change at several stages, but most of chapter 2 deals with stage (3) or
preparing to change, i.e. how to develop a self-help plan. It is
important to remember that a part of every self-help plan involves
selecting techniques that will keep you motivated to change as well as
selecting self-change methods that will enable you to make the
changes you want. This chapter primarily summarizes a number of
behavior-change methods (also see chapters 2 and 11) but also a few
motivation techniques (also see chapters 2 and 14).
Thus far, in this chapter we have reviewed basic theories of
learning and motivation as applied in real life situations. We have
looked at what blocks our desired behavior and why our behavior is
sometimes hard to understand. Then we focused on overcoming self-
defeating behaviors, especially addictions and procrastination. Now we
are ready to review all the self-help methods for changing behavior.
From these methods the self-helper will probably choose only 2 or 3
methods that seem the best for his/her purposes; otherwise, your
self-help plan will be too complex.
Earlier in this chapter it was pointed out that behavior occurs in a
sequence or in a
context. Here are some examples:
A. Antecedents--stimuli in the environment before the
"target" behavior occurs,
circumstances and events that catch your attention,
thoughts and plans that you have,
emotional responses that are occurring, etc.
These stimuli, combined with your physical needs and
physiology (including genes) and your past experience in the
form of conscious and unconscious motives and learned
response tendencies (habits), produce your behavior.
Antecedents may be unconditioned or conditioned stimuli in
classical conditioning; antecedents may also be environmental
stimuli, including social models, that guide voluntary responses
by providing cues that certain behavior will probably lead to
wanted or unwanted consequences.
B. Behavior--actions you take, habits you have, thoughts you
have, feelings you have, and your physiological reactions, like
stress responses, headaches, high blood pressure, etc. Some
self-help methods can be applied while the "target" behavior is
C. Consequences--changes in the environment resulting from
the "target" behavior, such as