Now, let’s ask a provocative question: How can you use this info to make your life better and achieve your own goals? Well, if you want a good grade, and thus you know you need to study, how can you use rewards and punishments to MOTIVATE you to study?
You need to apply the rewards and punishments to yourself.
Positive Reinforcement: Perhaps give yourself a treat when you study longer
Negative Reinforcement: Remove one chore around the house you dislike when you study longer
Positive Punishment: Give yourself an additional chore you dislike if you fail to study longer
Negative Punishment: Take away a treat if you fail to study longer
Since rewards and punishments are always influencing all of your behaviors anyway (see the “brushing teeth” example from above), why not use them to your advantage to achieve your goals. Take control of your life. Plus, learn more about the material for this week along the way.
Notice each R&P is based upon a behavior. If you achieve that behavior you get a reward (Positive Reinforcement or Negative Reinforcement). If you FAIL to achieve that behavior, you get a punishment (Positive Punishment or Negative Punishment).
Instructions for the Strategies Assignment
The “Implementation #2 Strategies” assignment involves picking a goal for this week, using an R&P strategy, and then reflecting upon the outcome.
Each week will be following the same format of Goal, Strategy, and Reflection.
Each of the steps is important and necessary. I am trying to teach you a new and formal way of “Implementing” concepts in your life, and thus having this new skill once the course is over.
Write your submission in the following way, with each item a separate PARAGRAPH (even if that paragraph is only one sentence) and using this labeling:
Goal: Start by stating your goal. You may pick any goal you wish. That goal is the “Behavior” you want to increase or decrease this week, such as exercise more, wake up earlier, spend more time with family, start a new hobby, finish a task you have been putting off for a while, start eating healthier food, and so forth. Your goal must be an actual “behavior”. This first part is typically only a sentence or two.
Strategy: Pick one of the Four Types of R&P. Then, explain what actions you implemented to use that strategy to accomplish your goal this week. For example, if you used Positive Reinforcement, which has the definition of “adding something valuable”, you need to explain how you added something, and how that thing is valuable to you. This second paragraph is typically short, but it can sometimes be medium length if your strategy is complicated.
Reflection: Explain the outcome of your experience. Did that R&P help you achieve your goal, or not? In other words, the previous “Strategy” portion is just explaining what you did, so that paragraph is typically short. Then, in this Reflection portion is where you explain what happened after you tried that strategy, such as the outcome, how you felt, what you experienced, and so forth. And then most importantly, reflect upon the experience. The reflection is the most important part of this formal process because it provides awareness, and thus growth and improvement. As part of the reflection, you MUST explain how you could do the experience again in a way that would improve the experience for yourself. (Reflection is so important I have a separate page about it in case you want more help with it or the assignment.)
As a quick summary, the first part is just a single sentence of your goal, the second part is a concise explanation of your actions, and the third part is a critical analysis of the outcome and reflection on how to do it again in the future.