No matter how old you are, or where you are when it comes to your life, you may find yourself wanting to make a change. Perhaps it is a change regarding the food you want to eat or the amount of exercise you get, or maybe you are just interested in treating the people around you with more compassion and respect. The truth of the matter is that change is good for us, but in many ways, we resist it. We have the habits we do for a reason; they have gotten us this far, after all! However, change is not impossible, and you will find that by simply keeping a few basic steps in mind, you’ll be able to get going on the change that you need.
1. Figure out what you want to change.
The big mistake that a lot of people make when they want to change is that they are not specific enough. For instance, it is easy to say that you want to be a more involved parent, but if you leave it at that, you are going to find that it goes no where. Make a list of smaller goals that will help you attain the larger one. If you want to be a better parent, some smaller goals that you might set are to engage your child in conversation more, attend more of their school functions and to get involved in things like parent organizations. Small goals like this help you stay focused and give you a good idea of what you need to do.
2. Talk about it
You will discover that talking about your goal with someone else can be very helpful. Find a friend or family member who is going through the same thing or who is just willing to lend an ear and a shoulder. You’ll be surprised at what you can learn just by putting things into words and being able to get some feedback on the same. We are very social, and the truth of the matter is that in many respects, two people can work on an issue better than just one person can. While you should always make sure that you are not imposing, having a buddy to help you through this can be very helpful.
When you have a large goal in front of you and when you have separated it down into smaller goals, remember that there are many things that can distract you. Take some time, every day, every week or even every month, to evaluate where you are and what you have done. The more tracking you have, the more you will be able to see the changes that you have made. It is important to see how far you have come and what you have done. This can be instrumental when it comes to helping you in terms of determination and sticking with hard things.
4. Be gentle with yourself.
You are going to fall down. When you make changes, you will have set backs. Sometimes you can’t control them, and sometimes, you just forget. This is fine. The important thing is that you get right back on with things the next day. Falling down today does not mean that you will fall down tomorrow!