For many of us, the turn of the New Year brings about an opportunity for reflection and often a desire to make changes in various aspects of our lives. Some of us might want to pursue a new career, take classes to learn a new skill, exercise more for better health, leave a relationship that we feel isn’t good for us anymore, or stop a habit that we feel isn’t serving us anymore (for example losing our temper). As many of us know from personal experience, creating long lasting change in our behaviors and habits is often quite challenging. We might begin with strong momentum and desire, and be quite successful at first, which is great! However, the stressors and obstacles we encounter in our lives, along with engrained behavior patterns, can knock us off track.
From my personal and professional experience, and from some of the research on making effective and successful long-term changes, I would like to offer you a few tips for both preparing to make a change and for implementing change.
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