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Friday, January 5, 2018

Strategies For Making Major Changes in Your Life

Change is hard, especially when it's a major change.  This is why so many people make the same New Year's resolutions every year and why many give up a few weeks into the New Year.  When you want to make a major change, it helps to have strategies to help you through the change process (see my articles: Preparing Yourself Emotionally For Major ChangesUnderstanding the Difference Between "I Can't" and "I Won't" and Overcoming Obstacles to Making Changes in Your Life).



Strategies For Making Major Changes: Ask Yourself the Following Questions:

How Does This Change Fit in With My Core Values?
Ask yourself why this change is important to you and how it fits in with your core values.  This might seem obvious, but many people decide to make a major change without asking themselves this important question.

So, for instance, instead of deciding that you want to lose weight, ask yourself why you want to lose weight and how this fits in with your core values.  Rather than focusing on how many pounds you want to lose, ask yourself why this is important to you.  Is this part of a larger goal to improve your health?  How does this change fit in with the rest of your life?

When the change you want to make is part of your core values, the value of making that change is more apparent, and you will feel more motivated than if you have a narrower focus (see my article: Living Authentically Aligned With Your Values). 

Am I Willing to Deal With the Challenges in the Process of Making a Major Change?
Major changes usually involve long term goals that you make a commitment to achieve and maintain.  So,  you need to ask yourself if you're willing to be in it for the long haul.  That means not getting discouraged and quitting when things start to get tough.

Being able to tolerate a certain amount of discomfort is usually part of making a major change.  So, for instance, if your goal is to save money to buy an apartment because this is an important goal for you, you will probably have to rein in your spending.

That might mean being more disciplined about how you spend money, which will involve some self sacrifice.   Without being clear that saving money to buy a home for yourself is part of a larger goal of feeling secure, you're going to find it more challenging to give up things you want for immediate gratification in order to achieve your long term goal.

How Will I Handle Setbacks?
Setbacks are a part of life for everyone.  Even highly motivated people experience setbacks when they're in the process of making major changes.  If you know this in advance and you plan for it, you're less likely to give up when the going gets tough.

In the long run, it's not whether or not you have a setback but how you handle that setback.  Do you give up or do you bounce back and recommit to your goals?  So, for instance, if your goal is to live a healthier life and that includes losing weight, do you feel everything is lost when you deviate from your eating plan?

The best strategy is to have a plan for how you're going to handle the setbacks that will inevitably occur.  One way to do this, rather than giving up, is to acknowledge the setback, learn from it and then start again  (see my article: Resilience: Remembering Your Past Comebacks to Overcome a Current Setback).

Getting Help in Therapy
Many people, who start with great strategies, give up because of unconscious negative beliefs they have about themselves that convince them that they won't succeed no matter what they do.  These unconscious beliefs often get triggered during setbacks (see my article: Overcoming the Internal Critic).

If you continue to struggle to make major changes in your life even when you have great strategies, you could benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional who can help you to discover and overcome the unconscious negative beliefs  that are getting in your way (see my articles:  The Benefits of Psychotherapy and How to Choose a Psychotherapist.

Rather than giving up on the things you really want in your life, you owe it to yourself to work with a skilled psychotherapist who can help you to overcome the obstacles that are keeping you from having the life that you want and deserve. 

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

I have helped many clients to overcome the obstacles that were keeping them stuck.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or Email me.



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