Many people have the intention to change, but only 20% stick with the changes they are trying to make. When contemplating making meaningful changes in your life, these steps may be helpful catalysts toward making them last:

  1. Take an up close and honest look at the reasons you haven’t changed before. For example, many people attempt and fail to develop healthy eating habits not because they don’t want to lose weight, but because they eat to soothe an underlying emotional issue. Before they can reach and maintain their weight loss goals, they must bring greater awareness and understanding to the emotional patterns that are getting in the way.
  2. Define some small, specific steps that will move you in the right direction. It’s one thing to say you want to exercise, but it’s another to develop a concrete plan for when, where, and how you will get it done.
  3. Take ownership of your changes. Make sure that the goals are for you and not for anyone else.
  4. Consider making two goals at once. There is some evidence that one goal often reinforces the other (as opposed to adding to the difficulty).
  5. Build support into your change process. Join a group, see a therapist, or ask a friend to check in about the goals you’re developing.
  6. Realize that the world is not black or white. A small misstep along the path toward your goal is not a total failure—give yourself credit for getting this far instead of giving up completely.
  7. Track your progress so you can reflect on your results. Reward yourself along the way and celebrate often!

What are some ways that you make enduring changes in your life?

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