So you want to Change?

-Michael Shahan, S-MFT

How often have you wanted to make a change in your life, but you just don’t think it’s possible?  It seems too hard, too scary, too unnerving.  The deepest part of you wants to finally confront that person who has been taking advantage of you, or you want to finally start saving money, or you are sick and tired of saying you will hit the gym only to find yourself making excuses a week later.  I’m sure you feel all kinds of shame and guilt around the inability to make these changes in your life.  We ask ourselves, “Why can’t I do this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever be able to be the person I want to be? Why can’t I just stick with my commitment?”

It’s easy to decide to make a change, but when you are in the thick of things, it is easy to forget why you are doing what you are doing.  When you are in the thick of things, when you are tired, when you are lonely, when you can’t do what you used to do, when you are constantly being shaken to the core as you are trying desperately for your old beliefs and habits to not resurface, it’s easy to lose touch with why you started.  Our minds zero in on the present and refuse to look at the big picture.  When we do this, the only thing we are feeling is the uncomfortableness that comes with our change.

So instead of focusing on the how, and how things are currently going, do your best to take a step back from what’s going on and remind yourself of the why

 

Step 1: Figure out your “why”

Find out why you want to make the change you are wanting to make.  Ask yourself what you want your life to look like, and then ask yourself why you want it to look that way.  What rewards are you getting?  How will your life look different?  How will it feel when your life is different? How will you feel about yourself if you make this change?

 

Step 2: Write it down. Everywhere.

Write your “why” down on paper.  Condense it into one or two sentences.  Journal about it for pages and pages.  Make it your phone background.  Put it on little pieces of paper and shove them in your wallet or stick them into various clothing pockets throughout your closet so you will find them later.  Make it your desktop background on your computer.  Set reminders in your phone.  Put it on your calendar.  You starting to get the idea here?  The more you are reminded of your “why,” the easier it will be to take a step back from your current, difficult circumstances and see the big picture.

Optional, yet encouraged Step 3: See a therapist

See a therapist! Give someone at Bedford a call.  Having someone to guide you and walk with you during a difficult change is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche