reinforcers (rewards) provided by yourself, others, or
punishment from self, others, or as a natural outcome,
escape from unpleasant stimuli or situations (negative
reactions of others (positive, negative, or neutral),
self-evaluation of the behavior (pride or shame),
no reaction at all (extinction).
Overview of self-help methods for changing your own behavior
Part I: (see below for applications with eating, drinking, and
smoking problems; see chapter 11 for step by step instructions about
how to use each method) If behavior occurs in this A-B-C sequence,
the methods for changing behavior must fit into the same sequence:
A. Methods used prior to the "target" behavior:
1. Change or avoid the environment leading to the
unwanted "target" behavior; provide cues to prompt
new desired behavior (goals, schedules and plans) or
provide warning signs. Break behavior chains early. This
is called "antecedent stimulus control."
2. Consider alternatives and learn new behavior from
models or by reading; practice, role-play, covert
rehearsal; develop self-instructions to reach goals;
develop helpful competing responses (walk instead of
eat) or eliminate unwanted competing responses (like
watching TV instead of studying).
3. Use a "controlled" response, e.g. buy only low-fat
foods, no sweets. Use a "conditioned" response or build
a stimulus-response connection, e.g. eat or study in only
4. Practice relapse prevention and temptation resistance
training (overt and mental process), including "cue
exposure" without permitting a habitual unwanted
5. Motivation training; increase confidence in self-control
and realize importance of task. Focus on long-range
consequences, both positive and negative ones.
6. Take care of your basic needs, learn to relax, and
develop a positive addiction.
7. Monitor your own decision-making and recognize
diversions (taking the easy way out), self-defeating
actions, and rationalizations (self-serving, inconsiderate