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Increasing Feelings of Self-Efficacy and Healthy Outcomes

Chose a health habit that you would like to improve.  Examples could be losing weight, stopping smoking or reducing alcohol consumption.  If you want to increase feelings of self-efficacy (self-efficacy is a person?s belief about their capabilities to organise and carry out courses of action required to deal with situations in life) then you might like to start small by beginning with easy-to-control behaviours.  Setting unrealistic goals can cause anxiety and early feelings of failure.  You could start by eliminating one food or beverage from your diet that, perhaps one that is not a particular favourite and is pretty fattening.  Suppose you drink a 200 calorie fruit juice 5 times a week.  Replacing the juice with water will save 52,000 calories per year, which is equivalent to 13 pounds! The idea is to gain mastery over your behaviour slowly, improving your feelings of self-efficacy 

(Aronson et al  2005.  Social Psychology p501)

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