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New Year, New Opportunities

"A great deal changes as we grow, more than we suspected when we were younger and more than we can remember when we get older." Dr. David Viscott


So, you are planning to do a few things differently this year? Excellent! What an opportunity to get started on enhancing your quality of life.  



You feel renewed and enthusiastic about the present and the unknown future. The new year is an opportunity to start afresh. You vow to do things differently; you desire to be the best version of yourself after much deliberation over how and what to improve.


Changing behaviors requires knowing what you want to change before initiating meaningful changes. If you are in preparation to change something, then it's likely that you are aware of what you want. Now, you'll need to assess the degree to which you want to change.


In reality therapy, there is a helpful tool called the WDEP model. It has four questions with prompts: W = What is it that you want? D = What are you doing? E = How willing are you to make a searching self-evaluation? P= Are you ready to make plans to get what you want effectively? The model is helpful when considering change. You can tweak the prompts to match your specific situation.


Remember, changing everything and starting from scratch may not be necessary. So, your assessment must consider what you are already doing well and how you can build on those behaviors. Once you decide what to change, identify the specific things you will do differently. Knowing what you will be doing will help you assess your progress when you do your weekly, monthly, or quarterly progress report.


Your new behavior will work for your intended purpose, at least temporarily. Hence, it would help to consider how you will reinforce the behaviors you will be working to change. The changes are more likely to take root when they are appropriately supported. Reinforcement is just as important as starting the behavior. The famous Jamaican idiomatic expression "when jackass smell corn, him gallop," in other words, encouragement sweetens labor; the more encouraged you are, the more motivated you are to continue your efforts.


Everybody has their idea and methods for doing things, and you are no different. So be patient with yourself and learn from your many decisions as you strive to improve. Pursue your successes and failures with great optimism. Don't forget change is first uncomfortable and even worrying until the behavior you want to change becomes second nature. Consequently, remember that self-discipline is the hallmark of change. So, be consistent with your efforts.


Be comfortable with the idea of congratulating yourself for your successes.


Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.

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