Motivational Monday – You, Your Behavior & Environment..Are You Down with SCT?

Motivational Monday – You, Your Behavior & Environment..Are You Down with SCT?

| BY Jennifer

Greetings my MAD COOL FITNESS CREW and Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe Spring is here… well sort of. In typical East Coast fashion we got a snow storm on the first day of spring. Happy Monday morning commute indeed!

It’s the end of the first quarter and a good time to take stock of how we are collectively pacing toward our 2016 goals, myself included. Some things are going well. Some have had some setbacks.

One of my goals was to participate in Penn Relays next month. In spite of a lot of hard work, and some progress in healing my injuries, the truth is I still haven’t been able to train the way I would like because I’m not 100%, I’m like 95% which isn’t really good enough for sprinting. And on top of not being 100% this first quarter has been very stressful which I’m sure has affected my healing process.

There’s still a chance I can participate but I may have to revise my goal. Disappointing but I will have to adjust my goals based on reality, while still moving forward and not getting discouraged.

Some of you may have also had some challenges with staying on the healthy road this first part of 2016. You may have been a little inconsistent with your diet and exercise. Random factors popped up that you had not originally accounted for and possibly derailed your fitness efforts.

Fear not. This is quite common and there is a reason why behavior change is not easy.

In 1986, Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura created a theory on behavior change called Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). The key construct of this theory is Reciprocal Determinism, the concept that You, Your Environment, and Your Behavior all interact in this dynamic system that can either move you closer to changing your behavior of farther away.

Just look at this diagram. This behavior change ish is hella hard!

SCT Image

So change isn’t just about “will power” or “no pain, no gain” or “you just don’t want it badly enough” or any other simplistic soundbite that is so cavalierly thrown around out there. Change is about YOU, your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and past histories that affect your current behavior, and how your current environment also affects you.

If you’re in an environment, social or physical, that isn’t health-promoting, the you got problems man, PROBLEMS. If your friends are all eating big macs and you’re on the celery tip…well, that dog don’t hunt. Forgive the analogy but you don’t lock an alcoholic in a liquor store and say, “May the force be with you, brother!”. No. You need to be in an environment, social and physical that supports healthy behaviors.

Now I’m not saying you need to ditch your big mac eating friends, because hey, we need all need friends, otherwise you’ll be talking to yourself and answering. But I am saying think about strategies you can use in those situations so you can keep your friends and stay on track with your fitness. And also think about expanding your friends circle to include those who can support your health behavior change.

So this week, get down with the triangle. Assess your current 2016 fitness path to date, think about the triangle and which pieces you may need to work on to ensure all the elements are working together as a dynamic system in your resolve to be MAD COOL 2016.

Go get ’em.


fitness fitness motivation health behavior change. motivaition resolutions sct social cognitive theory

Exercise Featured Jennifer's Posts Mavens MCF Blog MCF Blogs


I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and never met a Happy Meal or a chicken wing I didn’t like. As I began to outgrow my childhood life-threatening asthma, the effects of the... Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *