Complete the following checklist to determine whether you are motivated and committed to changing your behavior. Check the statements that are true for you.

I feel responsible for my own behavior and capable of managing it.

I am not easily discouraged.

I enjoy setting goals and then working to achieve them.

I am good at keeping promises to myself.

I like having a structure and schedule for my activities.

I view my new behavior as a necessity, not an optional activity.

Compared with previous attempts to change my behavior, I am more motivated now.

My goals are realistic.

I have a positive mental picture of the new behavior.

Considering the stresses in my life, I feel confident that I can stick to my program.

I feel prepared for lapses and ups-and-downs in my behavior change program.

I feel that my plan for behavior change is enjoyable.

I feel comfortable telling other people about the change I am making in my behavior.

Did you check most of these statements? If not, you need to boost your motivation and commitment. Consider these strategies:


• Review the potential benefits of changing your behavior and the costs of not changing it (see Activity 2). Pay special attention to the short-term benefits of changing your behavior, including feelings of accomplishment and selfconfidence. Post a list of these benefits in a prominent location.

• Visualize yourself achieving your goal and enjoying its benefits. For example, if you want to manage time more effectively, picture yourself as a confident, organized person who systematically tackles important tasks and sets aside time each day for relaxation, exercise, and friends. Practice this type of visualization regularly.

• Put aside obstacles and objections to change. Counter thoughts such as “I’ll never have time to exercise” with thoughts like “Lots of other people do it, and so can I.”

• Bombard yourself with propaganda. Take a class dealing with the change you want to make. Read books and watch television shows on the subject. Post motivational phrases or pictures on your refrigerator or over your desk. Talk to people who have already made the change.

• Build up your confidence. Remind yourself of other goals you’ve achieved. At the end of each day, mentally review your good decisions and actions. See yourself as a capable person, as being in charge of your behavior.

List two strategies for boosting your motivation and commitment; choose from the list above, or develop your own. Try each strategy, and then describe how well it worked for you.

Prioritizing in this manner will involve trade-offs. For example, you may choose to reduce the amount of time you spend watching television, listening to music, and chatting on the telephone while you increase the amount of time spent sleeping, studying, and exercising. Don’t feel that you have to miss out on anything you enjoy. You can get more from less time by focusing on what you are doing. Strategies for managing time more productively and creatively are described in Post 10.

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