Motivation

Progress When Subtracting Behaviors

By  | 

When you’re trying to change your life it usually means either adding behaviors you want that weren’t there before or subtracting¬† behaviors you don’t want that were there before. Both routes present their own challenges, changing customary patterns of behavior is always hard.

But at least when you’re adding behaviors you have something obvious to notice, tangible proof that you’re on the right track. This proof usually serves as a potent reinforcement to help you keep going, especially when you notice good results around your new behavior.

But when you’re trying to subtract behaviors you might be making good progress yet still get down on yourself, believing you’re not making any progress at all. This is because you can cut way down on the frequency of behaviors but unless this frequency goes down to zero some of the behaviors you’re trying to eradicate will occur, seeming to serve as tangible proof that you are failing.

If you want a successful outcome when you’re subtracting behaviors from your life you’ve got to make sure you don’t lose sight of your progress. It’s asking a lot of yourself to go from everything to nothing right away. You probably don’t have this same expectation when you’re adding behaviors. You don’t hope to go from nothing to everything right away, you realize that if progress is slow and steady in the upward direction that’s a good thing.

If progress is slow and steady in the downward direction, meaning you’re cutting down on the behaviors you want eradicated but they haven’t gone away completely, then you’re also moving towards the goal. If you can raise your conscious awareness about this fact then you’ll deal better with the setbacks, staying focused on the larger picture as you implement your life change.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login