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Household Behavior Modification
By Monica Resinger

Ever hear of behavior modification? Usually it's associated with weight loss 
meaning you make changes to your eating behavior to produce weight loss. If 
applied, it usually produces pleasing results with just a little effort. I'd 
like to introduce another behavior modification idea and that is household 
behavior modification. 

With this idea, you make changes in certain behaviors that you do at home to 
make improvements in areas that are bothering you. The question is, where do 
you start?

To figure out where to start, you need to notice what's really bothering you 
about your home. It could be your cluttered desk, too much clutter everywhere, 
not being able to see clearly through the windows, or embarrassment when 
people come to visit among many other things. When you notice that you are 
irritated about something in your home, write it down in a notebook so you can 
back at it later and come up with `household behavior modifications' to help 
solve the problem. 

Once you are in the mood for coming up with some solutions to your household 
problems, bring out your notebook and a pen. For each household problem that 
you listed, come up with a few solutions and write them down on a new page. 
This can include behavior modifications and other notes such as purchasing 
that will help solve the problem. It's best to focus on one problem at a time. 

I have done this many times in my own home and I'll give you some examples of 
what I did to solve the problems. I'm in no way finished, but at least things 
are always getting better. 

Here are some of my examples:

~ Note in notebook: Irritated by all the paper everywhere (junk mail, 
newspaper, etc.). Behavior modifications: Sort through mail right after it is 
retrieved, throwing away what needs to be thrown away, putting bills in bill 
box and 
coupons in coupon binder. Put daily newspaper in recycling bin to be picked up 
weekly by garbage service. Reminder: Make call to get recycling service for 
the newspaper. 

~ Note in notebook: Embarrassed when visitors come over and the house is a 
mess. Behavior modifications: Since the living room is the first room visitors 
see, I'll be sure to tidy it first when cleaning house. Enforce the rule that 
everyone picks up after themselves. Get in the habit to check the living room 
constantly to see if it needs tidying and if it does, tidy it. 

~ Note in notebook: The front porch is ugly. Behavior modifications: 
Straighten, organize and sweep front porch on a weekly basis. Note: Find some 
decorations for it at a thrift store or yard sale. Cover the ugly plywood floor 
with outdoor rug. 

To come up with solutions, you have to get to the root of the problem. Ask 
yourself where is the problem coming from? My ugly front porch problem was 
coming from too much clutter, no decorations and lack of organization. My paper 
everywhere problem was coming from saying `I'll get to it later' and not having 
place for what I did keep. Once you get to the root of the problem, it will 
be easier to see what needs to be changed. 

Writing these down has the benefits of being able to look back later and see 
if your behavior modifications have worked. If they haven't, then you can 
think up new behavior modifications or reinforce the old ones, whatever needs 
be done. 

I suggest that you add your modifications to your chore schedule. This will 
help ensure that you stick to it. If you don't have a chore schedule, check out 
the one here:

Remember, small changes add up to be big improvements! 

Get Monica's FREE e-zine for homemakers 3 times per week; just send a blank 
e-mail to:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Get FREE home and garden e-books at Monica's website, 'Homemaker's Journal 
E-publications'; Click here:

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