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February 20, 2018

Making Resolutions for Behavioral Change

By Dr. Richard Boyum

Anytime is a good time to create positive behavioral changes. One of the best times to do this is on special occasions such as a birthday, the beginning of any new experience in your life, including New Year's. Our lives are filled with many activities. The very nature of personality is a series of predictable behaviors that are repeated time after time. The point here is that if you're going to change some behaviors, you need to have an effective model. Trying to change one or two things at a time is probably the most you may want to attempt. Behavioral changes are often related to important issues in our lives. Time-management, better health (such as stopping smoking or cutting back on drinking, or weight management), or putting more of a focus on a component of a relationship, are some of the things that people often wish to change. In making behavioral change, consider using the SMART model:

S = be Specific. Define in exact terms, what you would like to change.
M = Measurable. In changing your goal, you have to know where you are headed, and how you will determine that you are getting, or have gotten there.
A = Attainable. You must select a goal that, based on the life you are living, is something that you can do.
R = Realistic. You may want to lose 50 pounds, but perhaps what you may want to do is lose 25 pounds this year, and 25 pounds next year.
T = Timebound. Set a specific time that you will accomplish your goal in. Behavioral change usually takes a series of steps, and those steps can be each accomplished over a period of time. As you accomplish steps to your goal in a timebound model, you can reward yourself for little successes.

See if this little approach to behavioral change might lead to big differences in your life. By getting SMART, you may find yourself making the kinds of changes that improve the quality of your life.