But how can you know that you are changing for the better? Here’s a suggestion to consider:
Ask the people you live with, those who know you and love you, what you need to change about yourself in order to improve your life. I’ll bet they will have lots of suggestions. If you live alone, ask the people with whom you spend most of your time.
Push them until you get a really sincere answer, but be prepared to hear something that you are not expecting to hear.
After you’ve listened to those who know you and love you, follow these steps for change:
- Write down the changes YOU WANT TO MAKE. If you don’t really want the change, it probably won’t happen.
- Imagine how good your life will be when you make the change. Try to picture the "new you" at the end of the change process. This part of the process should give you positive energy and excitement to propel you forward.
- Break down the big change into smaller steps you will have to take to get to the "new you". What are you currently doing that has to stop? What are you not currently doing that has to start?
- Build the smaller steps into your daily routines. Change that sticks requires daily repetition.
- Develop a way to hold yourself accountable to your new daily routines, e.g. a sign on your fridge, a note on your bed stand, a reminder on your phone, a companion who will journey with you on this particular change path, etc.
- If something goes wrong or you fall off of your plan, forgive yourself and get back to it. Just because you bend a little… or even a lot, it doesn’t mean you have to break.
- Enjoy the ride and encourage yourself by celebrating small successes and rewarding yourself along the way! Treat yourself in some way every time you achieve a small part of your big goal. These treats are fuel for your journey. Your change engine won't run for long without them.
If you try to change and it doesn’t work, return to these steps and ask, “Which one did I not honor sufficiently?” Then proceed to make your adjustments, but don’t give up! You’ve got this!