John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

Behavior change (part I)

Often, when people want to resolve a personal problem, they ask me how to go about making a change. Unfortunately, the answer to the question may vary with the problem, the person, and the circumstances.

And yet, here’s one tactic you might try: as your first step, make a list of all the ways the problem is costing you. This doesn’t mean you’ve committed to change yet, it may only mean you’re getting ready.

Example: Let’s say you want to lose weight. (And who, in our culture, doesn’t?)

What’s the “price-tag” of this problem?

1. You find yourself squeezing into your jeans. Uncomfortable.
2. You find yourself worrying about your health. (Blood pressure, anyone?)
3. You find yourself spending too much money on food.
4. You worry about whether your partner or spouse finds you attractive.
5. You’re more easily winded going up stairs.
6. You don’t sleep as well.
7. ( get the picture. )

Why do this? Simple. Making a list of what the problem costs builds motivation.

Even if you’re not ready to make that change, this is a great way to start. In fact, while you’re working up your courage, review your list every day for a while.