This time of year provides each of us time to reflect on things we'd like to change in our lives. Be it an old habit we want to quit or the development of new habits. This process of making changes can be difficult for some and for anyone, it's important to do all we can to engender the kind of change we want in a healthy, manageable time-frame.
To help, I've made a list of 5 ideas that outline a good method for making changes. This list is based upon the trend I've seen in my clients' lives as they've overcome difficult obstacles and improved their life-styles.
- Picture Yourself Successful. What do you look like as the kind of person that's made lasting change and overcome old habits? What did you do differently? How do you communicate differently? Are you dressing differently? Imagine that person in every detail, in every aspect of living. How is he/she different than you are today?
- Build a Work-space for Change. If you want to quit smoking, does it make much sense to keep a pack of cigarettes laying around? If you want to lose weight, should you keep donuts in the kitchen or candy hidden in your dresser? NO! Remove the things that have kept you from making changes in your life. Replace them with the kinds of things that engender the success you saw in that vision of your future self.
- Make Allowances. In other words, be flexible with yourself. In so many cases, we fail in making changes because we "try" to force that change. Instead, allow yourself the opportunity to succeed. What's that mean? Put yourself in the position for success; [be] a different person. If you want to lose weight, get up, stretch, drink some water, exercise and go to work! If you want to be a calmer person, meditate, breathe and learn to relax. "Act" like the person you want to be!
- Network of Support. Time and time again, our friends and family can ruin our best laid plans. They don't do it on purpose but they can keep us in that rut of life. Now, don't get any ideas here. I am not saying to get rid of the people you love in your life! What I am saying is that you should include them in the changes you are making. Rally their support and teach them what you learn as you strive to achieve your goals. You might just inspire them to make some changes, too!
- Keep Going. Now that you've arrived, what now? How can you use this new-found strength to move forward in life? What do you see in your future at this point? You have the tools you need, use them!
I hope this little list helps you in making those little coarse corrections in life; or maybe even some big ones! Have faith in yourself. Believe that you "can" and if you can you will.