3 steps to Change

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So after all this time doing this journaling/blog thing I can definitely say I’ve learned a lot on the subject and that I’ve learned how to go about creating change.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that each person changes differently.  Exactly the same way that each person learns differently.

Step 1
First off you can’t change without knowing what you want to change.  So if it’s yourself, you have to know who you are and who you want to be.

In my case who I am is a full time cake decorator at Publix Supermarkets.  I am engaged to a great partner, own a house I love, and am successfully dealing with being bipolar and having Crohn’s disease.  I have an awesome black lab, a laid back sense of style, and a lovely circle of friends and family.  I have no patience, poor self discipline, and have a habit of not acting humble like,ever.  I love to write, decorate cakes, and play video games.  I have quite a list of skills from managing to marketing.

Who I WANT to be is a laid back, humble christian who lets the light of Christ shine through her.  I want to be able to be financially responsible and yet work less hours so I can try to figure out how to change the world for the better.  I want to be more self disciplined so I can be patient and form better financial and health habits that stick.  If I could be half the person my grandma was I would be satisfied.  She was smart, funny, always motivated, and had a huge social circle.  She was the one that held our family together and kept us focused on living for God. 

Step 2
Now that you know where you are and where you’re going, you need to figure out how you’re going to get there.  The path each person takes on their journey to change is as unique as their fingerprint.  If you think about it this is a pretty obvious thing since each person’s mental mindset and life experiences are different.  This is another similarity to how changing is like learning in the way that everyone does it best once they find the method that is most effective for them (visually, hands on, reading).

For me it depended on what I was trying to change but I found that a combination of different tactics is usually what it takes to make a change stick.

When I decided to change my smoking habit I used these tactics:
– I got support; I declared to everyone that would listen from customers in the bakery to my mom that I wasn’t going to smoke anymore.  This helped keep me on track since I like to present myself as reliable in the things that I say and because of course almost everyone agreed it was a grand goal and many offered tips and/or complimented me
– I gave myself motivation by keeping my eye on the prize which in this case was actually quite a few prizes.  My father was dying from cancer that had started in his lungs.  That hurt beyond belief.  We’ve all heard people say that once you see someone go through something like that it’s easy to decide it’s time to quit for good and yep that unfortunately is too true.  Obviously my life was the grand prize here but some smaller gifts were piled under that tree also.  My clothes, house, and car wouldn’t smell anymore.  I wouldn’t get the yellow nails and skin, the extra wrinkles, or the rough smokers’ voice.  I would save upwards of seven dollars a day.
– I kept trying even after I failed several times.  I tried to cut back to none slowly.  I tried quitting cold turkey.  I tried that nasty gum.  All those failed.

After all that the right combination for me was strong enough motivation, quitting the cigarettes cold turkey but using e-cigs for about a month or 2 after that as well as the very occasional couple puffs from someone if we were drinking.  But that’s just ME.  I’ve heard so many other stories about people quitting.

Another change I made was to start living healthier.  This one had a lot of aspects and took quite a while.

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-The best tactic to make this change was to do it slowly.  No matter how good my motivation seemed to be I couldn’t start it all  (running and working out every day, eating healthier, drinking 8 cups of water every day, meditating daily, and getting 8 hours of sleep every day) overnight.  So after several attempts to wake up one day and be perfect I finally got the idea of changing slowly through my thick head. So I would drop the fast food down to once a week, then once a month, now almost never.  Then after that felt instinctual I started adding in more healthy foods like veggies and making a food journal to determine exactly what things triggered my Crohn’s so I could avoid them, and so on.
– I found that using apps on my smartphone and Shape magazine to be extremely motivational.  Fitpal helped me balance my diet and figure out what exercises helped me how.  Walkforadog made me happier to be out walking Bella since the more I walk the more money gets donated to animal shelters.

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Step 3
This step is the simplest.  Keep track of what changes you want to make and look back at it later because you’ll honestly be happily surprised when you remember how well you did and how hard it was!

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