Behavior change strategies
Changes in individual behavior and lifestyles represent one of the most important factors in efforts to promote population health. This is because these changes are major contributors towards preventing or delaying the onset of various diseases and health conditions. One effort to improve health at the individual level could involve the objective of changing diet to address the problem of obesity. In this context, two strategies of behavior change that I could utilize with a client who is trying to improve his/her health are using the SMART principle of goal setting and the self-monitoring strategy. In the first strategy, SMART is an acronym for (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). It requires the process of goal-setting to follow a verifiable trajectory towards the objective, such that there are clear milestones and intermediary steps that the individual can achieve and obtain encouragement from in progress towards the overarching goal (McConnell, Corbin, & Farrar, 2018). The self-monitoring strategy involves an individual’s focus on monitoring self-behavior on a daily, weekly, or other periodic basis to track the progress that he/she makes towards the overarching goal. It involves the model of on-going follow-up in the individual’s effort to change behavior, such that he/she can find motivation and drive along the way towards the objective (Samdal et al., 2017).
In the objective of changing diet to lose weight and stop being obese, I would employ the SMART principle by encouraging and assisting the client to come up with own goals for physical activity and diet changes that are gradual and incremental on a periodic basis. For instance, I could assist the client to set a specific number of miles that he/she could walk per week for a month, before increasing this number for the next month, and so on. For the self-monitoring strategy, I could encourage the client to keep a diary of his diet choices and level of physical activity on a daily and weekly basis to monitor the progress that he/she makes towards the goal of a healthy weight and level of physical activity.
McConnell, K., Corbin, C., & Farrar, T. (2018). Health for Life. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
Samdal, G., Eide, G., Barth, T., Williams, G., & Meland, E. (2017). Effective behavior change techniques for physical activity and healthy eating in overweight and obese adults; systematic review and meta-regression analyses. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 14: 42-76. Retrieved from: https://www.uib.no/sites/w3.uib.no/files/attachments/samdal_eide_barth_et_al_2017_1.pdf