Self-Management Plan

Self-Management Plan: In your self-management plan, you will (i) identify one of your own behaviours that you would like to change and (ii) develop a comprehensive, detailed, and realistic self-management plan to change that behaviour.  You are not required to actually implement theself-management plan.  On pages 424-427 of the textbook, the nine steps of a self-management plan are described.  Because you are not required to implement the plan, you can ignore steps 7 and 8.   Your self-management plan must contain the following:   1. A thorough definition of the target behaviour, which is the behaviour that you want to decrease or increase in frequency.  Explain clearly why it is important to you to increase or decrease the target behaviour, and how you believe your life will be positively impacted by an increase or decrease in the frequency of the target behaviour.  Determine whether the target behaviour is a behavioural deficit (i.e., the target behaviour is a behaviour you want to increase) or a behavioural excess (i.e., the target behaviour is a behaviour that you want to decrease).  Determine which specific dimension(s) of the target behaviour you want to change.   2. An identification of the competing behaviours.  If you want to increase your target behaviour, identify the competing behaviours, which are behaviours that you are currently doing instead of the target behaviour – these competing behaviours are behavioural excesses that you want to decrease.  Or, if you want to decrease your target behaviour, identify the competing behaviours, which are behaviours that you are currently not doing very much, but behaviours you could do more to help you avoid the target behaviour – these competing behaviours are behavioural deficits that you want to increase.  Create definitions for the competing behaviours.  Determine which dimension(s) of the competing behaviour(s) you want to change.   3. A thorough functional assessment of the target behaviour and the competing behaviour(s).  Include a chart which indicates time spent in a typical week engaging in the target behaviour and the competing behaviours.  (See Chapter 13 in the textbook for more details.)  To help you understand the variables that contribute to the occurrence or non-occurrence of the target behaviour and the alternate competing behaviour(s), identify reasons why you are not engaging more or less in the behaviour that you want to change.  Identify any stimuli that may be present that are causing you to perform the behaviour in excess or are preventing you from performing the behaviour in the frequency that you want.  This functional assessment will allow you to develop the strategies in your self-management plan.  Indicate what you learned from doing your functional assessment, and if there was any part of the assessment that surprised you, worried you, etc.   4. A statement of goals.  State specific and attainable goals for each dimension of the target behaviour you want to change.  If you plan to work toward the final goal gradually, make intermediate goals and identify when you plan to reach each one, and what would need to happen in order for you to reach your goals.   5. Self-management strategies to modify your target behaviour and competing behaviours.  First, choose strategies that manipulate antecedents to the target behaviour and manipulate antecedents to the competing behaviours.  The antecedents that you manipulate are chosen on the basis of the functional assessment.  (Types of antecedent manipulations can be found in Chapter 16.)  Second, choose strategies that alter consequences of the target behaviour and of the competing behaviours.  If you want to decrease your target behaviour, you should (i) eliminate the reinforcements for the target behaviour, (ii) arrange punishment for the occurrence of the target behaviour, (iii) provide reinforcements for the competing behaviours, and (iv)eliminate punishments for the competing behaviours and use behavioural skills training procedures to teach the competing behaviours.  If you want to increase your target behaviour, you should: (i) arrange reinforcements for the target behaviour, (ii) eliminate any punishments for the target behaviour, (iii) eliminate the reinforcements for the competing behaviours, and (iv) provide punishment for the competing behaviours.  (A summary of this step can be found on page 426 in the textbook.)  The strategies that you propose should include: types of differential reinforcement, antecedent control procedures, behavioural contracts, establishing reinforcements and punishments as necessary, habit reversal procedures, etc.  Propose strategies that affect the target behaviour directly and strategies that affect competing behaviours directly.  Discuss why you believe that your strategies will work to either increase or decrease the frequency of the target behaviour and the competing behaviours.   6. Discussion of maintenance strategies.  Assuming that your strategies have been successful at modifying your target behaviour, suggest realistic maintenance strategies that will maintain the target behaviour in the frequency you wish.  (As noted in the textbook, the self-management strategies you originally proposed to modify the behaviours should be dropped at this point, and replaced with “natural” reinforcements to maintain the target behaviours and competing behaviours at desired levels.)

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