Behavior Modification: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Behavior Modification: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

So, I’ve been working in my spare time on the outline for a new book about training your lover, or simple behavior modification to create the relationship of your dreams, or something like that.

Anyway, one of the things that I think is incredibly important is the idea of baseline and regression, or two steps forward, one step back.

Pet and I discussed it one night (the baseline), and experienced it the next morning (the regression).

Note: I have NO IDEA what it was at this point. I made these notes so long ago. However, suffice to say this happens to us regularly, so what we consider “normal” is far and above anything we ever dreamed of when we began.

The baseline is something I learned in dog training.

It’s the average, or baseline level of expected performance. If you are training correctly, this will gradually get better over time, BUT will not always be getting better in individual instances.

Let me say that again, for emphasis:

If you’re training correctly, your baseline will get better and better over time, but will not always get better EVERY time.

Like one evening versus the next morning.

That evening blew our baseline out of the water.

The next day was a regression, back to several months before. Still good for both of us, but not anywhere near recent expectations or yesterday’s blowout.

This is natural.

It happens in dog training all the time.

(This happens with horses, too; it’s called “bouncing.” Even Secretariat bounced after the Belmont Stakes.)

The dog will have an amazing practice trial, doing better than ever, and the next day will come in dead last in his competitions.

It’s nature. And nothing to be worried about.

I’ve seen this happen in self-help as well. You’ll find that you really hit a breakthrough, and you feel on top of the world. Then there will be a set-back, which can really bruise your spirit.

It’s normal.

Your baseline will grow over time with your working on it, and there will be hiccups and exceptions.

PLAN for them.

In yourself and others.

Just keep moving forward.

Once you know what is possible, you can then make it probable.

Once it is probable, you can work on making it natural.

Once it’s natural, you are working on improvements to something that seemed impossible a few months or years before.

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