April 11, 2007
One step at a time!
There is a saying by famed Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." The first step in changing our lives is often the hardest, because it requires a firm decision to stop doing something and replace it with a behavior that requires truth, discipline, and commitment.
If you are constantly saying "I'm going to start doing X" or "I'm going to stop doing Y," you must look at the real reason you have not changed. For most of us, the underlying explanation is often that there is no real desire to modify behavior; what we really want to change is the outcome. We don't want to stop smoking, drinking, or eating a whole pint of Chunky Monkey--what we truly want is to not get lung cancer or liver damage or to be overweight.
Here are some suggestions to inspire your first steps toward change:
*Be honest about your weaknesses first, then face your challenges.
*Write down your desires, goals, and plans, and then act accordingly. Words are powerful!
*Learn the behaviors that will reinforce your progress, such as those outlined in will training, a 12-step program, or whichever program fits your needs. A therapist or support group can help with this process.
*Seek agreement from family, friends, and peers who will support the new life you want rather than validate the bad behavior.
Enjoy your journey!