Do you have something you'd like to change? Perhaps it's a behavior with which you aren't especially happy. Or it might be something external such as your weight. Maybe you want to add something to your already-packed schedule and don't know just how to make that change.
Whatever you want to change, here are five things to keep in mind:
• First, be very sure you really do want this change. That will make all the difference. I have tried to change something because close friends were doing it, and it just didn't happen because my heart really wasn't in it. It wasn't my goal. It was someone else's—and just sounded like something I should do.
• Second, remember that it's important to see change as an incremental process, particularly if the change is substantial or drastic. Break it down into bite-sized chunks so it is manageable. If you don't, you might be so intimidated that you'll never begin the process. You will keep procrastinating or sabotaging your efforts. No journey is completed with that single first step.
• Third, choose a first step that is attainable. You will feel more motivated to change if you are successful in your first step. And stay with that first step for a long enough time that you feel ready to move forward to another step. You don't need to rush the process. If you are adding exercise to your daily routine, for example, you might consider starting with just five or 10 minutes a day. See how that goes for a week or two and then consider how much more time you can add. You may not want to jump right into 60 minutes a day as your first step!
• Fourth, build upon that first step and your success on that. What's the next logical step? Again, make it manageable. You want this process to be sustainable over time. If the change and its incremental steps are unreasonable and won't fit with your lifestyle or temperament, you may want to reconsider. Or you may want to do some tweaking.
• Finally, remember to celebrate your successes. Pat yourself on the back. Perhaps you even want to give yourself a treat for having made this change—that new DVD you'd been wanting or that colorful scarf that would add a fresh touch to an old outfit.
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