Every one of us makes new year’s resolutions but fails badly at keeping them. Which tends to decrease our self-esteem and confidence in ourselves. And as a result, we often unknowingly become reluctant to change. Making change a more important process. Change is a great thing when brought consciously into our lives not only it can lead our life to better habits but it also provides an overall impact on us both mentally and physically.
Doesn’t matter what change we are thinking of bringing in our life or what our resolution is. The first and most important thing we need to fix is our behavior. Behaviour Change is the key that leads to all the changes in our lives and helps us to “Change for Better”.
But for bringing that change you need to be aware of what behavior change is, what are the other important terms related to it and how it can be made. Thus below we will be answering all the possible questions that can be in your mind. And will try to be your partner in the journey of making a change for the better.
THE DEFINITION OF BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
The transformations or modifications made by any individual in his or her behavior throughout a period is known as behavior change. In general terms, all the changes in one’s behavior whether good or bad comes under the term behavior change. There can be different reasons for the change in behavior among different people. These changes can be caused either voluntarily or involuntarily. The efforts put within a person to change his or her behavior, behavioral patterns, habits, and attitude for the prevention of diseases are known as voluntary behavior change. When the change in one’s behavior is caused due to any prolonged illness or accident, generally known as mental disorder is the cause of involuntary behavior change.
Why is behavior change important?
To explain to you the importance of behavior change, let’s get familiar with the 3-4-50 concept. According to this concept, there are 3 kinds of poor behavioral activities. Which are doing no or low physical work, excessive smoking, and the intake of irregular and improper diet. These 3 poor behavioral activities are taking you on the verge of having 4 kinds of hazardous diseases known as heart disease, cancer, pulmonary disease, and diabetes. These diseases are solely responsible for causing about 50% of deaths throughout the world in any given period.
In general terms, poor and risky health conditions are often triggered by poor behavioral patterns. Becoming the cause of such diseases whose treatment will cost you a fortune. And all these things combined make behavior change an important process, especially for the lower and middle-class people of the society who can hardly afford the costly treatment for such diseases.
What are the behavior change theories?
Behavior change theories are a group of theories that came to light in the 1980s. These theories are an attempt in the process of knowing why behavioral change happens in an individual. Every behavior change theory is focused on different objectives that can cause behavior change.
A theory is a set of methods that help to spread light on people’s risky behavior so that they can affirm their behavior and continue towards the journey of behavior change.
Is behavior change an easy process?
Behavior change is indeed not an easy process but your success in this process will affect your life very positively as you will start to feel good about yourself. New changes are generally hard to keep up and it takes a long period to convert those changes into the form of habits.
The thing is everybody knows what is the right behavior pattern to keep themselves in steady health and good well-being but hardly anyone follows it. Everyone is aware of the need for daily exercise, consuming a wholesome meal, going to bed at a proper time, and not indulging in activities that will adversely affect your health like drinking and smoking. Yet, people are getting indulged in these activities more and more making a behavior change, not an easy process.
Why is behavior change a hard process?
The easier the term saying behavior change sounds the harder is its implementation in someone’s life. Behavior change is a complex process as under this process one needs to disrupt his current behavior to create a new one. Plus, the process of behavior change requires an ample amount of time, patience, and effort and is generally a long-term process. To create a simple change in your behavior like eating your food at a particular time of the day will require at least 2 months of dedication before it converts itself into a habit
The thing that helps in behavior change?
Learning that setbacks are a part of the process and to achieve the goals you have to come over every setback you face in the behavior change process will help you to gain more positive results.
Self-motivation works the best in cases of learning a new habit or behavior pattern. Research shows that individuals that want to change due to self-motivation factors are more likely to succeed.
Become more specific about what you want to achieve like shifting your goal simply as walking in the morning to walk 5miles every morning at 5:00 a.m. will make your goal more specific and it will become more easily achievable.
Limit the number of goals you want to achieve at a certain period otherwise, you will end up overtaxing yourself and end up achieving nothing but disappointment. Try to achieve 2 to 3 goals of maximum at a certain period and after they become a part of your behavior you can adopt a new set of goals.
What is the behavior change method?
A behavior change method which is also known as the behavior change technique is based upon the theory that works upon changing the physiological determinants of behavior that can be used for changing the behavior of one person. There are different methods for behavior change and all of them have set parameters of effectiveness. Some of these methods use your fear and the others use your will to have something as a motivation factor for behavior change.
How many stages does behavior change include?
Behavior change is a process that includes 5 stages. These are based upon research made by Prochaska in which he studied the people who have completed the process of behavior change successfully. Let’s have a look at these stages and find out what you need to do to have a better chance.
Precontemplation– Basically known as the face of denial. Precontemplation is a stage where a person holds no conscious choice to change his behavior in the coming future. There are various reasons for the denial of change some of which can be stated as-
Lack of awareness and information– In the lack of knowledge, we often tend to believe our genetic history as the cause of or diseases like hair fall and obesity, etc. instead of their wrong behavioral patterns.
Avoiding positive things– At the stage of Precontemplation people tend to avoid things that can bring positive changes in their behavior such as reading good books, listening to podcasts, exercising, and having a wholesome diet.
To move past this stage, one needs to become aware of the unhealthy things and decide to make an effort at changing them. And we are happy to tell you that you have passed this stage as you are reading this article which means you are aware of the fact that you need change. And you are collecting information to make it.
Contemplation– At this stage unawareness of wrong behavior patterns converts itself into awareness of them. And the person realizes that there are problems in his behavior that need to be resolved. The only thing lacking at this stage is a strong commitment to change. You can describe the people at this stage by the word ‘ambivalent. In simple words, they are the people who want a perfect body and muscular abs but they are not ready to do a workout for it.
At this stage, all you need is to dig inside yourself and find out the wrong behavior that you have been performing for a long time and it has unknowingly become your habit.
Preparation– Preparation is the planning stage. At this stage, you are known to the fact that you need behavior change and you tend to believe that you can do so. Thus you start making efforts for the process. This is the stage where you start to take baby steps for the thing that you have been wanting to achieve. For example- you need to have a better body shape so you got yourself enrolled at a gym or you want to have better health so you decide to avoid street food and enroll yourself with a dietician.
What’s important in this process is creating realistic goals that can be achieved and one should tend to make only one or two changes at a time. Trying to do much will make you unable to achieve less too.
Action– As the name of this step suggests, you tend to take action for your goal under this step. At this stage you will start facing challenges caused by your old behavior like- if you want to quit smoking then your old habit of smoking continues to give you temptations about smoking every time you see someone smoking or you move across a place that sells cigarettes. For passing this step you will need to find things or actions that can help you in the process of behavior change and then applying them in real life.
Maintenance– After practicing your behavior for at least 6 months you get an entry into the maintenance phase. At this stage, you will need to prevent the relapse of your new habit and integrate it into your life. For this, you will need to avoid the situation, and this can make you go back to your earlier behavior that you were holding before the change. It can be a tough process but you have to endure it to make the changes permanent.
And now you are fully equipped with the information and all you need is to grab your courage and consciously become a part of this journey. It’s time to change for better in your life.
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