An approach to self-improvement that has been successful for many people is to use behavior modification. the theory behind behavior modification suggests that people act in ways that bring some kind of reward. If you want to change your behavior, you must have some payoff or benefit as motivation. Psychologist refer to the reward as reinforcement of the desirable behavior.
If you develop your own system of rewards, you may be able to use behavior modification to help you carry out your action plans for self- improvement. You might begin by considering what you enjoy. Take a piece of paper and list ten to twenty things that you might use to reward yourself.
Whatever you list as rewards for behavior modification, you should be realistic. If achievement is step-by-step process, plan additional small rewards at each step along the way. Of course,these rewards must be possible in your present circumtances. You cannot say that you would like to buy a new sports car if you can only affford a used car.
With your potential rewards list at hand, review your self-improvement action plans. Try to match specific objectives or activities with approriate rewards. Prepare a contract in which you promise yourself that you are going to change in some way. You may decide to use more effective study skills. You may decide to control your bad temper.
Put your ideas for a contract in writing. one way to do this is to keep a card file with each promise to yourself written on a card. It should include a date on which the contract takes effect, what you intend to do, and what benefit you expect to achieve. Include something Pleasant and rewarding to look forward to when you achieve the objecttives in your self-improvement plan. If possible, a realistic date for fulfillment of the contract should be included.