At this time of year, people think about changing various aspects of their life. The question or concern is can that change be sustainable? Why is it so difficult to change?
Change is difficult for many reasons, it's uncomfortable, it takes effort, it involves planning, and the results are not always readily apparent. It's also difficult to maintain the motivation to continue with the changed behaviors, especially if the results aren't what we expected.
When contemplating change, it is beneficial to just sit and think about what you want to experience differently in your life and why. Analyzing your motivations for change can provide valuable insights into why and how you need to change. The first steps of changing involve contemplating what that change will look like in your life, including the pros and the cons.
If the decision is to proceed with change, the next step is preparing for the change itself. What tools and resources will you need? Read, explore, and get information about the steps you want to take. This step is often overlooked in the change process. Think about other changes you have made, even if they were very simple. What worked for you? What didn't work for you? How can you adapt those previous strategies that helped you change in the past to what you want to do now? Try some of those approaches and evaluate whether or not they were helpful. This helps you narrow down what is most likely to work for you to achieve success.
Once you have found what seems to be the best plan, begin in earnest to make the changes. Adapt as necessary to make it fit your needs. Realize though, that this is the uncomfortable part, and learn to be ok with being uncomfortable. In fact, incorporate into your plans strategies to deal with feeling uncomfortable, even if it is just reminding yourself that this is a normal part of the process and it will be worth it to make the change.
So on this last day of the year when so many are looking at New Year's resolutions, make your resolution simply be a commitment to making some positive changes in your life. The first step in changing is thinking about changing. If you have read to this point, you are interested in how to make change happen in your life. So there you go - you are already on your way to making positive changes in your life. Tune in for future blogs about changing and how to sustain change. You are worth the investment.
©2019 Peggi White Behavioral Health