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My goal along with many other people I’m sure is to exercise more and also eat healthier. In high school I use to dance so that was a good constant exercise source for me. Now I do go to the gym but not as much as I would like to. I go to the gym at least once a week never less, but my goal is to go to the gym four times a week. At one-point last year I was averaging three times a week, so I know I am capable of it. Something I have never been good at is eating completely heathy. I love my fruits and vegetables, but I also love chocolate.
My goal for healthy eating is to eat healthy and have snacks in moderation. In my plan to achieve this goal I will use operant conditioning. In the weeks that I successfully balance going to the gym four times and a healthy diet, I will put a sticker on the calendar for that week. A month of consistent behavior will result in positive reinforcement such as; getting a Mani Pedi, Movie Day, a long peaceful bath, time to read your favorite book, or even a vacation day. The longer the weeks continue the better the reward. In the weeks that I fail at my goal not only does that stop my sticker progress, the week proceeding I am not allowed to eat any unhealthy snacks. This is an example of negative punishment. In a workout plan I feel that positive reinforcement and negative punishment will work best because it will help me get into a routine and understand when I go to the gym eventually this will happen and that’s what I want and when I don’t I know that this will happen and I don’t like that. Negative reinforcement I do not think would work as well because then there would be no consequence.
Removing something unpleasant when I fail at my goal would only make me want to do it more. I want to operantly learn to love going to the gym and enjoy eating healthy. I know that I will be unsatisfied not being able to have any unhealthy snacks, so it will then make me less likely to slack on my plan again and give me more motivation for the next week. And getting these stickers even though they may seem pointless to others, can show how far I have come to myself and make me more satisfied to continue in the long term.
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