Why is tracking change important? Seeing how behaviours change over time can help people to understand their own patterns of behaviour, feel motivated by progress, predict when things might be getting worse and get support at the right time.
When anyone sets out to make long-term changes in their lives, whether related to health, relationships, work or any other aspect of life, it is likely they will experience variations in their ability to focus and do what is required to move towards their goals. Some weeks or months might go better than others, and life events and other external factors will contribute to fluctuations in activity. For example, an unsuccessful interview may discourage a person from applying for more jobs, and an upcoming social event may motivate a person to exercise more regularly. Tracking change can help a person understand their own patterns of behaviour (and how they relate to things like mood, work and relationships), identify common obstacles and adapt their plans accordingly (see Managing setbacks).
People should find it easy to track changes - if too much effort is required to enter data, this can be a deterrent. People should be able to decide which behaviours or other things (e.g. outcomes such as weight) they want to track and the way to do this that works for them. They should have control over their own data and make choices about who to share their data with. It can be motivating to know that someone else, such as a practitioner or a friend, is following your progress, particularly if feedback and support is tailored accordingly.
Using the information above, start to brainstorm ideas to try out in your organisation or community. Think about how to co-design ideas with other practitioners and people in the local community who could benefit from Good Help. Use the map below to help you test and develop your ideas.
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