By David Carrigan
Posted in Mental Health Resources
As fall gets into fall swing, we see change happen all around us. From the explosion of colorful foliage, pumpkin spiced everything, and the temperature drops it’s hard not to see this part of the year as a time for change. However, change isn’t easy, in fact, change is downright hard. As people, we easily fall into habits and routines, even if those habits and routines are not what is in our best interest. Breaking these habits, especially those that are deeply ingrained, takes a motivation to persist through the initial discomfort of change.
With this in mind and taking Mother Nature’s queue, here are a few tips on how to make a change in your life and make it stick.
Don’t go it alone, find and utilize a support system
Any change that is worth making is going to be hard. We make it harder when we try and go it alone. Building a support system is key to making a change successful. Whether it be loved ones, a team of professionals, or support groups change is made when we allow others to help.
Write it down and hold yourself accountable
Putting something down on paper makes it real, takes it out of our head and puts it right there where you can see. Writing down a goal, a statement, a reason for wanting to change can be a powerful tool. Accountably and in particular self-accountability can be built by making and writing down attainable goals in the short and medium term. You can then work with your support system around these goals. Remember that change worth making is hard, be accountable but flexible in your goals and remember any progress is good.
Recognize why you want Change
This is something to keep in mind for the more significant and life-altering changes. Looking into why you feel change is necessary and what it is that led to you to needing change. Keeping those reasons in mind, writing them down, and staying connected will help you through the more difficult times. Whether it be a craving, desire, or high-stress moment, staying connected with the reasons for change can allow for resilience.
Give yourself time and don’t catastrophize
Significant and important change doesn’t occur overnight. It takes time, and sometimes more time, and sometimes more time. Try not to be so hard on yourself and expect perfection. Acknowledge mistakes or lapses and learn from them, understand change takes time and be honest with yourself and support system.