Behavior change can be bewilderingly difficult to achieve, and just trying can quickly become the work of the weary. However, I submit, much of the struggle arises from how we conceive what is changing. The received view is that behavior is what follows from the intentions of a rational, self-determining agent; to initiate change, we simply need more will, more discipline.
In contrast, the practice I outline here, ecobehavioral design (EBD), implies a different take. From the EBD perspective, the individual in interaction with their environment is construed as a complex adaptive system, an organizational unity of diverse though interdependent parts that self-organize to meet adaptive needs, where behavior is a relational term that describes the attunement between embodied subject and changing milieu. Like the tuning pegs on a violin, our behaviors turn in the space between harmony and chaos, the space of dissonance, mostly returning us to the consonance of familiar tunings, but sometimes, when adaptivity demands, settling upon novel ones.
The future behavior of any complex system, not least us, is virtually impossible to predict, though with some understanding of their dynamics, tight enough feedback, and an iterative design process, I believe individualized change can become relatively reliable. In what follows I give a taste of the primary elements in this practice and conclude by enumerating some surprising benefits.