Embrace Change in Your Life
Change is a very good thing! Routines and status quo in your life can leave you feeling stuck, so changing your daily routine in a small way or setting out to accomplish something even bigger (like a new career) can give your life new meaning with new challenges to overcome. Change stimulates the brain and can actually make you feel quite happy and good, as long as you are not the type to be shocked and surprised by changes in your life.
Why Do We Fear Change?
Most people have something (or many things) in their life that they would like to change, but, they feel powerless. They may even think that they just can’t do it so why even try. And others just feel tremendous fear about what a change will mean in their life.
Many experience difficulty making permanent life changes. For example, you may want to initiate a change in your life by adding a daily exercise routine. So, you excitedly join a gym, and go for a bit, then come up with excuses. We know we should do it, we wanted it to happen, but, we can’t stick to the change we are trying to make.
Getting Started with Change
If you are really serious about making a change in your life, ask yourself what do you need in your life to make it happen? Be honest with yourself and practical in your answer and really give it a lot of thought.
Once you have your list, set reasonable goals, short and longer term that are actually achievable. Instead of just buying the gym membership, agree what days and times you will go and schedule them on your calendar like an appointment. Have consequences for yourself if you do not accomplish the schedule you have set. If you have sabotaged yourself before, be ready for how to counteract this if it happens again. Have a plan and be prepared.
As you strive to accomplish your goals, paint a clear visual picture in your mind about what success looks like to you. What does it feel like in your body to have achieved the goals? How will you act? What will others say to you and about you? Be as detailed as possible, and write it in a journal so you can reinforce the vision.
A Job Well Done
Be sure to celebrate all milestones along the way. You can decide what rewards are deserved at what level. A short term goal for working out at the gym a certain number of days per week may be that after 1 month you buy yourself new workout clothes. When you lose 10 pounds, take yourself to your favorite healthy restaurant! It’s up to you, but, be sure to write it down as part of your plan.
Finally, and most importantly, you must feel the change NOW! If you’ve wanted to lose weight so that you can buy a sexy dress, buy that dress now. Meditate (or use self-hypnosis) on having that desired body. Feel the new you in your body as you start carrying yourself with more pride and a feeling of success. Start living your life as if you’ve already reached your goal. This is the only way you will get there and you'll be happy you did.
Sheila Henry is a marriage and family therapist in San Diego. She has had a private practice for over 25 years. She helps clients identify goals, recognize obstacles that impede reaching their goals and activate a plan for success. See if Sheila can help you CREATE MORE HAPPINESS