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This content is taken from the University of Dundee, SISCC & University of the West of Scotland's online course, Compassionate Care: Getting it Right. Join the course to learn more.
Digital screen showing information used to self-monitor progress using meaningful summary data and visual content.
Tracking progress



Goal setting - Action planning - Problem Solving - Self-monitoring

In steps 1.13 and 2.7 we learned how to change behaviour using goal setting, action planning and problem solving techniques. Now we are going to learn how to help the changes we make become so ingrained, that they become routine.

Self-monitoring is the capacity to observe, track, and evaluate one’s behaviour. When combined with goal setting and/or action planning it has been shown to be more effective than just using each of these techniques on their own. Self-monitoring works because it can help to control and regulate thoughts, feelings and behaviours. By being aware and noting what prompts you to behave in ways that you don’t want, you can start to take actions that can effectively change your behaviour.

Self-monitoring can be done in many ways. You have probably used previously it to change your own behaviour. For example, you may have set a goal of increasing your vegetable intake and then kept a record of foods consumed, or a goal of walking a certain amount of steps per day and then noting the amount of physical activity you completed every week.

Let’s try out some self-monitoring in conjunction with the SMART action plans you created in week 1. We have included Self-monitoring resources you can use to support and maintain behaviour change. Remember our behaviour change resources are available on the SISCC website during and after you complete the course.

Does the process of self-monitoring sound familiar to you and have you used some form of it at work? Please comment below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Compassionate Care: Getting it Right

University of Dundee