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Published: January, 2013; Vol 9, Num 8

 

Why Change Is Hard

Most of us have a lot of information about what's good and bad for us and can identify behaviors we don't like. Why is it that more of us aren’t doing something about our bad habits? Maybe…

  • We really don't care.
  • We're in denial.
  • We truly don't get it.
  • We don't know where to begin.

To begin, you have to be clear in your own mind that there is actually a problem, that your current habit isn’t working well for you. Next, you have to really want to make a change because it will take discipline and persistence to succeed. Then, you need to get into the particulars of your behavior and see what needs to change. Finally, you need to practice and implant the new habit.

In pursuing change, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Identify the specific behavior to be changed and make a plan (see Is It Really Possible To Change Your Habits?).
  • Identify potential roadblocks and figure ways to remove or get around them.
  • Make one change at a time.
  • Do not change another behavior until you feel comfortable with your first change.
  • Set goals that are specific, realistic and flexible.
  • Do not beat yourself up if you get off track.
  • Always remember, it will take time to develop new behaviors and make changes.

Knowing the stages of change can help you understand where you're at in the process.

A variety of self-help sites offer additional guidance and support:

            Changing A Habit: Strategies for Success
            Self Improvement Mentor.com

            Why Is It So Damn Hard to Change (Oprah.com)

            Breaking Bad Habits (National Institutes of Health)

            Why Are Bad Habits So Hard to Change? (dailySpark.com)

            How to Overcome Unhealthy Habits (Health Coach)

If you are trying to change an addictive habit, you may want professional help. Check with your health & welfare fund to see if a member assistance program is available.

[Steve Clark]