Karen L. Kehler, MA,  MSHA - Private- Professional- Affordable Counseling Services
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Kehler Counseling Blog

5 Things to Do Immediately When Starting a Big Change

OK - you decided to start that big change.   It could be changing eating, activity/ fitness, going back to school, stopping a problem behavior -addressing that addiction, even leaving a relationship.  
Here's 5 things to do to improve success:

1- Surround Self with Uplifting People, Messages, Images, Readings, and/or Structured Activities.
 It may mean cleaning out a room to remove 'old' behavior or image.
 Surround self with motivational music, tapes, CD's, Pod casts, Apps, Posters, -visible things that trigger your thoughts to positive -goals - what it would look and feel like if you achieved the goal. 

2- Create a Structured Support System.  
Depending on your own unique style - start networking with anyone and everyone who has what you want, has expertise, experience, time, and a positive attitude.  These people can be those you know - but also those you may never meet - but found through message boards, social networking, LinkedIn, specific category websites, Twitter, schools, formal support groups, churches, civic groups and fraternity/sorority groups.    This will give a booster for encouragement, accountability and a place to 'pay it forward' that adds to the satisfaction of a completed goal.  

3- Use What you Have. 
Shop in your phone's "App Store" for really cool ways to track, tune in, de-stress, distract, calm and learn more about your proposed change.  There are Apps of the "Big Book", Daily Meditations, Stress Reduction exercises, Checklists, Work out routines, Schedulers, and Food Diaries.  Put them in the palm of your hand for easy access and accountability. They can also be found for your tablet or computer. 

4. Do Something Visible.
I can't repeat this enough.   Do things that show you are making changes.  Get out of your head and out into the world.   Clean, organize, exercise, walk, lift, read, share, rearrange, paint, move, re-do.   The faster and more you do this step - the more you will get verbal feedback from others - and that is what propels more change!  Weight loss doesn't 'show' until you get to 12-24 pounds - but the comments once you get there are awesome - in the meantime be 'caught' walking, jogging, biking, lifting, being active.   If you're giving up a 'vice' - show the world with new clothing image, new haircut, rearranged furniture, new employment . . . 

5. Set up a "Check in" with Encouraging Others.
This is one of the 'secrets' of 'the rooms' of AA/NA - where else can you go and get applause for being sober or clean for a few days?    Some changes don't have 'anonymous' support groups -so get a 'fan club' of friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, classmates, co-workers - who you have to 'check in' with weekly -daily and when the goals - big and small are being met. 

Shifting out of 'comfort zone' is always nerve wrecking - try these to begin the shift - especially if you know  that the effort will have life changing rewards: health, longer quality life, a sense of accomplishment, pride, and the experience of success.  

Enjoy the Journey!
Karen 


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