CHANGE AS A GOAL
Change, that elusive goal. Everyone at some point wants change in their lives. Many people, on some level, understand what they have to do but can’t seem to do it. They may be able to sustain it for awhile but before long, the old self defeating habits creep in. Why the constant struggle? On one hand, they want to change. On the other hand, they resist it.
I am sure that you are well aware that lasting change takes time. An important ingredient in achieving change is motivation. You need enough motivation to even achieve small changes. However, these small changes can have a positive impact, especially if the change is repeated often enough to become a habit. These small changes can then become stepping stones toward a big change you would like to make. Remember that merely thinking about what you would like to accomplish will not be enough. You need to write it down. The sheet should include an example of the following:
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE EMBARKING ON CHANGE
What specifically do you want to change?
What are the barriers that would keep you from accomplishing you goal?
What specific behaviors do you need to implement in order to accomplish your goal?
Make sure the filled out sheet is placed where it is easily accessible to you to see. Having a filled out goal sheet is a good start. A filled out sheet propels you to the next step. The following are other steps you can take to ensure that attempts at change can stand the greatest chance of success.
ADDITIONAL STEPS TOWARD CHANGE
- Keep track of when you succeed is important. Coupled with this is keeping track when you fall short and what adjustments you need to make in order to get back on track.
- Each morning spend a few minutes reviewing the goal you will be working on for that day.
- At the end of each day take time to write in a journal about where you’re at with your goal for the day.
- Be aware of your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves a lot, but we are not always aware of these thoughts. Don’t let negative thoughts about set backs get you down. Merely replace those negative thoughts with positive ones
- about achieving your goal.
- Be aware of your triggers or the things that occurs that cause you to fall back. Then come up with a strategy to deal with them before they come up again.
- Be patient and not hard on yourself. Understand that when change is implemented, setbacks naturally occur. It can be discouraging at times but you need to consistently go back to focusing on achieving your goal.
Remember to visualize how and what you want to be whether you’re there or not. If this is what you consistently tell yourself, you will become. If you have a propensity to put yourself down when you make a mistake, why not build yourself up when recognizing all your positives and accentuate them on a daily basis?
Any suggestions or feedback can be directed to Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org