3 Tips for Making Lasting Changes in Life

freedom from bad habits Perhaps you’ve heard people say… “It’s easy to quit smoking (drinking, gambling, etc). I should know I’ve done it thousands of times.”

Every year people resolve to improve their lives by changing something such as, stop smoking, lose weight, get more exercise, be more tolerant, drink less alcohol, and the list goes endlessly on. Yet that resolve lasts for only a week or so before reverting back into the same old pattern. Why is that? It’s because only the first step – making the decision – has been taken. It’s important to be prepared to break an established pattern and replace it with a new one.

Significantly, attitudes and behaviors need to change. It’s necessary to re-educate your habits, redirect your thinking. Psychotherapist Thomas Szasz said, “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” Essentially, in order to change anything in life, you need to begin thinking and acting like the kind of person you want to be.

One thing that makes it hard for people to do this is that they try to change too much all at once. If you can concentrate on changing only one thing at a time, then other improvements can follow. Your body is a sophisticated system that is capable of miraculous functions. But your body can’t think. You are the thinker and planner. You are in control of your personal growth.

What will help you take control and create the changes you want? Here are three tips:

First: Create a strong desire to change so that when you begin sabotaging yourself you have a back up plan for staying on track.

Second: Change your environment at work and at home to support the new habit you desire.

Third: When you desire to return to the old pattern, ask yourself, “What do I really want instead?” Then take care of the real need. Turn it around into something that you enjoy doing.

If these generic tips aren’t enough for you and you want in-depth personal consultation to change some deeply ingrained behavior, please make an appointment in my Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington office.

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