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“Change Your Nature”

Reinvention: How To Be Perfect

Changing your behavior is possible. Start by taking small steps and using positive reinforcement.  By Hara Estroff Marano, published on January 01, 2004 – last reviewed on December 04, 2012

It’s the new year. You’ve probably got lots of ambitious plans for change. This time, you want to make them stick. The first thing you need to know is, it’s not easy to change. The second thing is, you probably have no idea how to do it.

Here are some principles of change from the pros.

  • Break down the behavior into its component parts. Say you want to get more exercise, and you want to do it by running two miles every day before work. So you need to get up an hour earlier than usual (more if you’re slow to start), throw on your running clothes, drink a couple of glasses of water, take your portable music player, do some warm-up exercises, go out and run, do a few minutes of cool-down exercises, shower, dress, prepare breakfast, eat, leave for work.
  • Examine the consequences of both changing your behavior and maintaining the status quo. Change is frightening, and fears of the unknown make us cling to old behaviors despite our best intentions.
  • Build in as much positive reinforcement as you can. For example, plot the most attractive running route you can, one that takes you by some scenic spots. And when you’re done, be sure to take time to enjoy the exhilarating feeling you get after a run.
  • Take small steps of change, simplify the process and prepare for problems. Don’t, for example, start out expecting to run two miles. Give yourself time to work up to that distance. Also, remember that it’s easiest to get out the door if you put your running clothes out the night before. Or line up a friend to run with you so you’ll have a reason to go running even on the days you’d rather sleep longer.
  • Learn more about the process to keep surprises from derailing you. Monitor how long it takes you to run half a mile, then a mile, then two miles.
  • Provide structure so that you are not sabotaged by spontaneous impulses. Classify all your activities as to whether they are helpful or not in achieving your goal.  READ MORE

Los Angeles Therapist & Life Coach | David Vendig | 323-744-0751 | www.DavidVendig.com

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