In addressing a problem, it is extremely important to define the target behavior.
In doing so, narrow the problem to a clear definition, which affords analysis and careful inspection. For example, staying away from evening snacks may be a target behavior for the individual whose problem is reducing excessive weight gain.
Defined accurately, the target behavior can be assessed reliably. For instance, knowing the definition of the target behavior allows anyone observing the individual to know whether they are “hitting” the target behavior. When in doubt, ask yourself, “What do you mean by that?” “What exactly do I want to change?”
The target behavior must be quantifiable.
The measurements of the target behavior looks at dosage in the context of: A) frequency (how often are you exercising), B) duration (length of time you are able to perform an exercise regime), C) intensity (strength during the exercise regime), and D) amount of the by-product of the target behavior (for example, the amount of candy or ice cream left in the refrigerator as an indication of your commitment to your goals).
Finally, target behaviors should be appropriate and adaptive (new). This means that target behavior should not create new problems. For example, chronic overeating should not replace smoking cigarettes due to health risks.
What lies ahead are more activities for facilitating behavioral change. Take some time to understand what you are truly targeting.