As I discussed last week, change is difficult, but achievable. Sometimes events or experiences change us and other times we make a conscious choice to change. The process of change can be rocky and turbulent, but having awareness, direction, and motivation is a great start. Let’s face it, if you really want to change something, you’ll find a way. People can make incredible changes when their drive is internal (not to appease others), they recognize the benefits of change, and have a long term commitment to the change process.
Change starts with awareness and knowing specifically what needs changing. It also helps to establish a game plan and strategy for change with specific, attainable, and measurable objectives. Start with small and simple behaviors, such as I want to hug my spouse at least three times per day. Identify obstacles that would prevent you from achieving your goals and work at limiting those barriers. Behaviors and actions can also change when our mind set and attitude are positive and confident. Be aware of your self-talk and encourage yourself to succeed, visualize success, and expect success. Create a support system and find someone who will hold you accountable for the changes that you’ve committed to make. It also helps to write down, monitor, and track your progress as you work on your changes.
One of the biggest obstacles to successful change is setbacks and failure. Successful change requires perseverance and self-forgiveness since we all falter at times. As Carl Jung wrote, “we cannot change anything until we accept it, condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Self-acceptance can enhance the process of change more than we realize. Whether you want to change your behaviors, thoughts, personality, or relationship recognize that you have the power and ability to be different. Pick one thing to change and see if it makes a difference in how you experience life. Start today!