Soon it will have been three months since many of us made New Year’s resolutions. Reason enough to take a couple of minutes and evaluate how we’re doing in regards to our plans and resolutions. Many of us started the year with good intentions, optimism and enthusiasm. We had plans to exercise more, eat more healthily, and lose weight. Nearly three months into 2018 many of us have probably realised that lasting change can feel hard to achieve and elusive. And this is true for every kind of change, not just our New Year’s resolutions.
Here are some points to consider when planning to making positive life changes:
Something's got to change!
It often begins with a vague, niggling feeling. Something doesn’t seem right. We feel dissatisfied with the status quo. The best thing we can do at this point is to reflect, explore and identify the source of our dissatisfaction.
When did I first start feeling like this? What is this feeling about? Why am I feeling like this?
What do I want instead?
Once we’ve identified the specific situation that causes us dissatisfaction, we can ask ourselves these questions...
How would I like this situation to be different? What’s my vision for the future?
It helps to be as specific as possible.
What’s the cost?
Once we know what we want to change we must think about the cost involved. Any change has a price tag attached to it and we have to ask ourselves...
What will I gain from this change? What are the disadvantages? Is the price I have to pay for my desired outcome worth it?
It’s useful to think of a balance scale with the advantages and benefits of change weighing against the disadvantages and losses of change.
Am I ready for change?
Implementing change requires perseverance and patience. Changing habits is hard work. Some useful questions to ask ourselves are...
Is this the right season of my life to make changes? How are these changes going to impact my relationships, work- or home life?
Who can help?
Once we’ve decided that we’re ready to make changes to the status quo and that it’s worth the cost, one of the best things we can do is to think about our support network.
What help or support do I have along the way?
One of the biggest change catalysts is working through these steps with a trustworthy person. Having somebody who listens, encourages and challenges us, when necessary, can be invaluable and can help us to make positive changes that will last.
About the author
Elisabeth is an integrative counsellor and mentor and is based in South Manchester.
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