In our day to day interactions, we encounter people and circumstances that require us to change our behavior. In other cases, we ourselves want to change our own behavior for personal reasons. There exist no standard procedures for behavioral change that can be used to govern the process through which individuals change their behavioral trends.
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However, some people have argued that individuals change their behaviors when the cost of not changing a particular behavior exceeds the cost of changing that behavior (Fieger, 2009). Through our own understanding of individual functioning, we can choose to change our behaviors without waiting for the negative impacts associated with the behavior to motivate us.
Psychologists have developed various models and theories in attempt to describe various stages along a behavior change continuum (FHI, 2004). The process of self behavioral change involves various stages as outlined by DiClemente and Norcross (FHI, 2004). The precontemplation stage involves individual’s recognition of an existing problem in order to make a decision to change the behavior (FHI, 2004).
Contemplation stage is the stage where the individual acknowledges the problem and seriously considers changing it while preparation for action involves individual decision to change the specific behavior within a specified period of time (FHI, 2004).
Finally, the action stage constitutes the ability of an individual to display consistency in the new behavior and maintenance which requires the individual to display the same consistency for more than six months (FHI, 2004). This is the general process through which individuals abandon undesirable habits and acquire new behavioral trends and it is also the model that forms the basis for therapeutic behavioral change.
After having uncovered that I spend approximately 3000 minutes talk time on my phone every month, I realized that I needed to change my behavior regarding phone use since my monthly phone bill was very expensive and my mother kept insisting on the side effects associated with cell phone use.
In addition, I spent considerable amounts of time on my phone consequently promoting time wastage which negatively impacted on my school work. The radio frequency energy from electromagnetic radiations emitted through the antenna of mobile phones is believed to affect the brain and other head tissues (NCI, n d).
Numerous studies conducted to investigate the relationship between cell phone use and the risk of brain tumors reveal no increased risk with increase in call duration in some incidences while some studies suggested slightly increase risk for certain types of brain tumors as a result of increased cell phone use (NCI, n d). This perceived cancer threat was the major factor that motivated to change my behavior.
Although I was reluctant at initial stages of the process claiming that the side effects of cell phones are non existent and if they were, my phone was adequately secure, extensive research on studies conducted on the side effects of cell phone as well as the need to reduce my monthly phone bill heavily influenced my decision and determination to cut off on my cell phone use.
After acknowledging that excessive use of my cell phone was adversely implicating on my finances and may affect my long term health condition, I decided to undergo an eight week behavioral transformation process after which I would cut down my cell phone use by half.
To ensure successful outcomes of the process, I sought information an advice from people who had a similar problem from where I acquired problem solving choices (FHI 2004). The people suggested the methods that they used to reduce the amount of time they spent on their cell phones which included the use of e mail and other social networks such as face book and myspace to interact with people rather than making phone calls.
In addition, other people preferred sending text messages while others utilized face to face communication whenever it was possible. This information considerably promoted my behavioral changing process since I applied all these strategies through out the process and successfully managed to cut down my phone use significantly.
Through out the process of behavioral transformation, I encountered various challenges that significantly hindered my ability to cut down on my phone use. Numerous interaction incidences required immediate feedback hence I preferred calling people rather than sending emails or messages to them as this may take them a longer time to respond.
Further, my friends with whom we used to communicate for long durations of time using cell phones continued to call me for long hours and it was difficult to convince them to similarly cut down on their cell phone use. In addition, since I had been used to the habit for a long period of time, the urge to make unnecessary phone calls persisted during the process and proved very difficult to fight it.
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At the end of the eight weeks period, I had managed to cut down my phone use by a considerable amount of time. Although I had not managed to achieve my target of reducing my phone use to 1500 minutes per month by the end of the period, I achieved an average 40% reduction in calling time upto 1800 minutes talk time in the eight week period which I intend to reduce further through continuous implementation of the strategies that I applied during the period of behavioral change.
Since behavioral change is a continuous process, I am optimistic that through dedication and commitment to change my behavior, with time I will be able to achieve my target and reduce the amount of time I spend calling on my cell phone for the safety of my health as well as financial status.
Behavioral change is largely motivated by an individual’s core beliefs which constitute the ideas that one believes to be true about him as well as the world as he conceives it to be (Fieger, 2010).
Further, an individual’s attitude, which is the focal point through which he views the world, is highly informed by his values and principles establish the foundations of the individual’s identity and his conceptions of ideal behavior (Fieger, 2010). This is clearly evident in the process of my behavioral change which was highly influenced by the desire to live a healthy life and to manage my time and financial resources efficiently.
Since I value my health very much, various health risks issues associated with cell phone use motivated me to reduce my cell phone talk time in order to diminish chances of developing such ailments. In addition, the general prevalence of time and resource management in the contemporary society further prompted me to change my behavior in order to conform to the society’s desirable values.
FHI (2004). Behavior change- a summary of four major theories. Web.
Fieger, H. (2009). Behavior change: a view fro inside out. New York: Morgan James publishing.
NCI (Not dated). Cell phone cancer risk. Web.