Following the seven steps for implementing a behavior plan from Spiegler and Guevrement; I first need to clarify the problem. (Spiegler & Guevrement, 2003) The problem I would like to address would be my lack of working out on a consistent basis. There are weeks where I workout six days a week and follow that up with only one workout a week. When talking about getting in shape and seeing results, consistency is king. Muscle confusion and extreme cardio are the techniques I like to use but, I need to become more discipline and structured in my workout regimen.
Considering this is just a one week trial, I will set my goal to working out six days a week, leaving only one day of rest. Another goal will be to make each workout at least 60 minutes of constant physical activity. My third and final goal will be to alternate from strength training to cardio throughout the week. Now that my goals are set, I must design target behaviors. My target behaviors are completing a total of eight different lifts; while completing three sets of fifteen in each. Also I will run three miles at a 6 ½ minute pace on each cardio day. At this point I need to use the ABC model to identify maintaining conditions of each target behavior. (Gill & Williams, 2008) I will use self monitoring to better understand my feelings and emotions while exercising. I will record the points in time where I feel like quitting or when I feel like I can’t do any more. I will also note the events or situations where external factors affect my motivation to start or finish a workout. Using the self-monitoring technique I should gain a better understanding of my mind, body and soul. It will allow me to understand my limits and help me to set realistic goals in the future. It should also help me to focus on thoughts that motivate me to work out or keep working out; and avoid the thoughts or actions that lower or diminish my motivation. Another issue that I run into is the fact that when I don’t see immediate results, I get frustrated and lose faith. By using self-monitoring techniques I should be able to track my progress on a weekly basis and this may help me to see minor changes, and eventually my total transformation.
This is the point where I need to use reinforces to keep me on track and give me a sense of accomplishment and reward. I have chosen to use positive reinforcements as a motivational tool in terms of an additional motivator to aid my intrinsic motivation. For every three days in which I workout in a row, I will treat myself by going to a movie or out to eat (healthy meal of course). I will do this because it will give me the feeling of getting something back, other than better physical shape.
With the general outline of my plan set up, it’s time to begin following my established guidelines. It should be interesting to see if designing a plan with positive reinforces keeps me more motivated or if it will have little effect and I begin skipping workouts like in the past.
In conclusion I hope self monitoring techniques will help me better understand my feelings pre-workout, during the workout and post-workout. And hopefully help me stay mentally tough and stick with the program beyond the initial trail week.
Gill, D.L., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
Spiegler, M.D. & Guevrement, D.C. (2003). Contemporary behavior therapy. (4th ED.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.