The behavior I chose to change
If I control the following independent variables, I will succeed in changing my behavior from hitting the snooze button seven times to only hitting the snooze button twice a week.
The subject of this experiment is a twenty-one year old female dcp student.
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The independent variables are:
* Go to bed earlier so I will get at least eight hours of sleep.
* Have a positive attitude and look forward to getting an early start on the day.
* Put the alarm clock on the computer desk across the room so I have to get out of bed in order to hit the snooze button.
* Turn the volume up on the alarm so when it goes off it is annoyingly loud.
* Taylor, my five-year-old son, keeping me awake in the middle of the night.
* Have more independent time to get myself ready in the morning.
* Be able to enjoy (much needed) quality time with my son in the morning.
* Make Taylor his lunch everyday for school.
* To be able to have time to sit down and have a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper.
* Set my alarm later so I have to wake up the first time or I will be late.
* Cover up the snooze button so I am unable to hit it.
* Getting my brother to school by 7:20 and my sister by 8:00.
* Have my boyfriend come over on his way to school and wake me up in the morning.
The following independent variables showed up after the first week:
* The need to change the music on my alarm from country to rock!
* Do not set the alarm across the room! So I will not throw things or turn the alarm completely off and be late.
* Do not close the window shades all the way so the sun will shine through in the morning.
* Finally, award myself with a nice warm bath at the end of the week (if I am successful at least three mornings out of the week).
How I controlled these independent variables:
* In order to give myself at least eight hours of sleep per night, I found that I needed a quick lesson in organization and time management. On a daily basis I wrote a to-do list and checked off every task when it was completed. I also bought a daily planner and gave myself reasonable time limits on the tasks as well. I found this to be extremely helpful. I had more time at night to read to my son. I also felt much better about going to bed knowing of all the small accomplishments I made that day.
* I found out having a positive outlook was one of the most important independent variables of all. Just looking forward to waking up and having a great day made all the difference in a push of the snooze button.
* I set my alarm on the computer desk because on the way back to my bed, I would walk right past Taylor and his clothes. Instead of lying back down, I would just wake him up and start our morning.
* I found this out fast! The farther away I set my alarm clock, the louder it must be. I realized this in just one day. I had forgot to do this and I learned quickly to turn the alarm volume up to “max” so it is annoyingly loud that I would have no other option, but to get up.
* Being a single mom, it is hard not to have a helping hand. See my son has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night and want to play. In order to keep this in control, I told him that we would play his favorite game (candy land) in the morning if mommy got enough sleep. This worked out well, but I noticed he ended up in my bed almost every night.
* The more time I had to prepare myself in the mornings, the better I felt about myself. This made me feel really good about my day and in turn gave me incentive to wake up early the next morning.
* Quality time with my son is very important and to control this variable was pretty easy. Just knowing that I will have mother to son time was so comforting. It was easy to wake up and be excited about our day.
* I made this a much easier task after the first two days. I found out how busy our mornings were and in order to calm them down, I prepared Taylor’s lunch the night before so the only thing I had to do in the morning was put the food in the bag. This was definitely one of my better ideas!
* I found that an award for myself was extremely helpful with my behavioral change experiment. Having a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper was a wonderful thing! I made sure that Taylor’s lunch was packed and in his backpack and while he was eating the breakfast I had made him; I would enjoy my moment of solitude with my coffee and newspaper.
* To control me from hitting the snooze button more than twice, I set my alarm for a later time. This would not allow me to hit the snooze button, for if I did, I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of another great morning.
* To control myself from hitting the snooze button again, I decided to try and hide it. It sounds funny, but I found myself thinking the button was broken and I couldn’t touch it. After a while, I just starting hitting it anyway, so I decided to go shopping for an alarm with no snooze button!
* My brother and sister are very important to me and their education is very high on my priority list! They are two of the most important people in my life and in order to get them to school on time as well as Taylor, I needed to wake up. I had them each come into my room and check on me at different times, making sure I was awake and moving.
* Lastly, I had my boyfriend stop by my house in the mornings on his way to school. This helped more than you would think! I would rush because I never wanted him to see me in my glasses. You could count on my waking up right away when I knew he would be showing up.
I controlled the independent variables that showed up after the first week by:
* I found out quickly that waking up to your favorite music is not necessarily the best idea. Country was way to smoothing and I found it much easier to wake up to rock. I also found myself to be a little more excited and ready to go after I made the switch from country to rock.
* I also found that after the first week, I began to get lazy and start to throw things at the alarm and I even resulted in turning it off. I decided right then to put it back next to my bed so I would hear the music right in my ear and wake me up.
* If I kept the window shades slightly open, the morning sun would shine right on my bed and make it extremely difficult to sleep. I cannot sleep during the daylight, so this was another really helpful solution.
* Lastly, on a more positive note, I noticed how proud I was of myself if I was given an award. To be self-satisfied is a great feeling. Just knowing I was accomplishing my behavioral change was so exhilarating. I love warm baths and this would give me more drive to do the same week after week.
I did not find any skew factors through out the four weeks of my behavioral change experiment. This is not to say that a skew factor will not occur through my lifetime behavioral change, but I will be as prepared as possible for them. After four weeks of controlling my independent variables, I have had just about all the practice I need.
Week one went really well as I expected (I didn’t push the snooze button at all!). I awoke and was out of bed the first time the alarm went off. Monday thru Friday was a breeze and each and every morning was wonderful. Even my son had better mornings because in order to get myself more sleep, he was in bed even earlier. The first week really made me realize how nice mornings can be.
Week two went well also, but I made a few changes (I only hit the snooze button once the whole week, but I did turn the alarm off once, oops). The first change was to change the music from country to rock. I love country, but it’s not the greatest music to wake you up. I found rock to be uplifting and powerful. This change helped tremendously. The second change was to put the alarm clock back next to my bed. I found myself getting lazy and just throwing things at the alarm. Once I even turned the alarm off so I wouldn’t have to get up anymore. By putting the alarm back on my nightstand, I was able to control myself again and start over.
Week three went by just as successful as the past two (I only hit the snooze button once) and I only made one change. I left my window shades slightly open so that in the morning the sun was able to shine through the window. Light makes it difficult for me to sleep so this adjustment was very helpful in my accomplishment of my behavioral change.
Week four was definitely exciting, I had made it the past three weeks and there’s only one more to go. The week went on and I did it! I made it through without hitting the button once. I was able to earn my reward of a nice warm bath at the end of the week!
Overall my behavioral change was a success! I was very excited that I was able to accomplish this change. It is a very hard change, but it definitely needed to be done! I always found myself so tired in the mornings, but after changing this behavior the mornings have been nothing but great!