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Behaviour Change Project: Reduce Daily Screen Time by 50%.

Goals of the Project

For the behaviour modification project, I had the following 2-week SMART goals:

  • Specific: I aimed to reduce my daily screen time by 50% compared to my baseline.
  • Measurable: I tracked my screen time using a smartphone app.
  • Achievable: I analyzed my current screen time habits and identified areas where I could make adjustments.
  • Relevant: Reducing screen time would help me improve my productivity and overall well-being.
  • Time-bound: I committed to achieving this goal within a 2-week timeframe.

I succeeded in cutting down on my daily screen time during the course of the project. Compared to the baseline. I reduced my screen time by 40% by the conclusion of the two weeks. This improvement was remarkable, especially considering how frequently I use screens daily. My progress was influenced by several factors, including awareness, setting boundaries, alternative activities, accountability, as well as rewards and reinforcement. By monitoring and examining the information offered by the smartphone app, I became more aware of my screen time habits. Based on such awareness, I could pinpoint locations where I could limit my screen time. I also set stringent time limits for specific hobbies that usually took up much of my screen time. For instance, I cut back on playing games or viewing movies on social media. Additionally, I deliberately looked for substitute pastimes to offset too much screen time. I enjoyed activities like reading, working out, and spending time with loved ones. These activities reduced screen time and satisfied and amused people (Noar, Chabot, & Zimmerman, 2008, p. 2).

Process of Change

I was in the contemplation stage of change when I began the behaviour modification project. According to the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, the contemplation stage is marked by an awareness of the need to change behaviour and an analysis of the potential benefits and drawbacks of doing so. At this point, people can debate the advantages and disadvantages of changing their behaviour. Even though they haven’t taken any action, they might think about the prospect of changing things soon (Hagger, Cameron, Hamilton, Hankonen, & Lintunen, 2020, p. 21). In my instance, I was aware of the need to cut back on-screen time due to its possible effects on my well-being and productivity. I had begun weighing the advantages and disadvantages of cutting back on screen time and was considering taking action.

My close friend and roommate Sarah was my change agent or social support system while changing my habit. Throughout the two weeks, Sarah was a major support and inspiration for me. She provided me with emotional support, served as my accountability partner, assisted me in celebrating achievements, and offered encouragement and motivation. My success in cutting back on screen time throughout the two weeks was greatly aided by her emotional support, accountability, encouragement, and celebration of accomplishments (Hagger, Cameron, Hamilton, Hankonen, & Lintunen, 2020, p. 27).

I reached the goal after the project’s first week (7 days of the last week). Setting a schedule and sticking to it, implementing technology usage boundaries, and finding alternative activities, enabled me to consecutively reach my goal in the last seven days. Consistent implementation of these actions was supported by motivation and discipline. On the other hand, I missed my goals on the first seven days of the two-week project. This was mainly a result of a lack of motivation and temptations and triggers such as environmental cues and too much time with too little activity planned (Noar, Chabot, & Zimmerman, 2008, p. 3). I overcame my lack of motivation by seeking support and surrounding myself with a supportive network (a friend and roommate) who understood, encouraged, and supported me. Finding alternative activities allowed me to stay within my goals when it comes to too much time with too little planned. For instance, I could set aside time to read a book rather than idly scrolling around social media. I believe these mechanisms work because I began to consistently realize my daily goals when implementing them (Noar, Chabot, & Zimmerman, 2008, p. 4).

The experience

Finding new hobbies and activities to replace excessive screen time was one positive experience of this behaviour change initiative. I deliberately looked for other ways to pass my free time as I committed to cutting back on my screen time. I rediscovered the delight of reading books, especially the escape that fictional books provided. On the other hand, the desire to return to previous screen time habits and the fight to resist it was negative experiences I had (Noar, Chabot, & Zimmerman, 2008, p. 5). Despite my initial dedication and advancement in cutting down on screen time, there were times when I encountered difficulties and found it challenging to maintain discipline. One important lesson from the project is the importance of alternative coping mechanisms. I came to see the importance of having additional coping skills available to deal with challenging situations. Relying on willpower may not be adequate.

Impact of the Behavior Change

The new behaviour has positively influenced my overall wellness across various dimensions. Reducing my screen time has allowed me to exercise more, improving my physical wellness. Similarly, reducing screen usage has improved my mental health since fewer distractions, greater attention, and enhanced cognitive performance result from less time spent in front of screens. In addition, cutting back on screen time has allowed me to make more meaningful social relationships, which has improved my social well-being. Regarding emotions, lessening screen time has reduced exposure to potentially harmful effects like excessive news intake and social media comparison. As Hagger, Cameron, Hamilton, Hankonen, and Lintunen (2020) explain, the overall long-term effects of less screen time include improved physical health, enhanced mental well-being, stronger social connections, and increased productivity/time management.

Next Steps in the Process of Behavior Change

SMART Goal: From July 4 to July 18, my mini-goal is to start a daily 10-minute mindfulness practice before beginning the day.

  • Specific: create a daily mindfulness practice lasting 10 minutes in the morning.
  • Measurable: Track my progress by marking each day I complete the 10-minute mindfulness practice.
  • Achievable: Dedicating 10 minutes daily to mindfulness practice is manageable within my daily routine.
  • Relevant: The objective is relevant to my general well-being because practising mindfulness can help lower stress, increase concentration and focus, and promote mental health.
  • Time-bound: The mini-goal has a clear schedule for completion with a two-week time frame that begins on July 4 and ends on July 18.

One thing I have learned about the behaviour change process is that the latter involves patience and persistence, self-awareness and reflection, building habits, as well as support and accountability. It is also important o set realistic goals. My final long-term goal is to manage my time and prioritise self-care to strike a healthy work-life balance. The action plan involves preserving boundaries between work and personal life, participating in regular physical activity, allotting time to interests and hobbies, and cultivating deep social connections. The first month entails establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life. The second month involves increasing the frequency of exercise and time slots for hobbies. The third and fourth month involves strengthening the consistency of the established routines, while the 5th and 6th month involves refining time management strategies. My strategy to remain motivated and focused involves breaking goals into smaller milestones and celebrating their achievements (Hagger, Cameron, Hamilton, Hankonen, & Lintunen, 2020, p. 46).


Hagger, M. S., Cameron, L. D., Hamilton, K., Hankonen, N., & Lintunen, T. (2020). The Handbook of behaviour change. Cambridge University Press.

Noar, S. M., Chabot, M., & Zimmerman, R. S. (2008). Applying health behaviour theory to multiple behaviour change: Considerations and approaches. Preventive Medicine46(3), 275-280. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.08.001


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