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Getting Change to Stick

Why is change hard? …because it is made out of metal!stairs-man-person-walking

Did you roll your eyes? That’s okay. Now that we have the attention grabber out of the way, let’s talk about what this article is really about: the change process (taking steps to make a change).

Take a moment to consider your personal history. Have you ever tried to change something? Did it work? Did it work for a while and then go back? Why is change so hard?

I have heard it said that we are creatures of habit. We also like comfortable and we like familiar and change can threaten these areas. But change is desired or needed throughout life; so what are some strategies for making change stick?

Many people get discouraged by doing too much too fast.  James Clear is an author who studies self-improvement and behavioral psychology. In one of his many articles on the subject he proposes that to make a real change you need to start small. Maybe you want to lose weight. To start small, change a daily habit. For example, replace the soda you drink at lunch with a glass of water. Once you have got that down, add another small habit and so on.

Sometimes change is not something we decide to do. Sometimes it happens to us. Adapting to a new situation can be just as difficult as changing a habit, especially if we perceive the change to be bad. In these situations we can start short, meaning taking things one day at a time. Maybe you lost your job. To start short, set small goals. For example, continue to get up and dressed each morning and apply for at least two jobs a week.

60 second challenge: Write down a goal you have and a small step you can take toward that goal. Post it somewhere you will see it every day.

Goal: bring more humor into my work

Small step: start articles with jokes

Whether you want to make a resolution for the New Year or come to terms with a life changing event, remember, change is hard and you may have to start small and go one day at a time.

Alicia Skiles, MS, NCC, LPC-IT, SAC-IT, Professional Counselor

Resources

Clear, James (n.d.) Why is it so hard to stick to good habits. Retrieved from http://jamesclear.com/why-is-it-so-hard-to-form-good-habits