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How do I know what I am capable of changing in myself?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Look for a habitual story you tell yourself that is limiting you or keeping you in a negative state. Maybe it's the tale of why you haven't been promoted or why you're always attracted to somebody with a wandering eye. Take that story and look for everywhere it's not true. (You actually were promoted four years ago, and the boy you dated when you were a sophomore in high school was utterly devoted.) Write yourself a new story that changes the way you feel about your situation. For example, if you haven't gotten that promotion, make the story about mastering your current position or about finally getting enough feedback to know it's time to switch jobs.

Write a list of things that you would like to change. It can be anything from losing 10 lb. to remembering your friends' birthdays. Generate at least five items. Then, pick your top one and resolve to take action. Put it on a three - by - five index card and tape it to your bathroom mirror to remind you of your new commitment.

Make another list. This time, write at least five things you can do to implement the change you selected the day before. These steps must be specific and doable. For example, "Exercise" is way too vague and "Eat only celery the whole of next week" is never going to happen. Something like "Do sit - ups, leg lifts, and biceps curls for half an hour while watching Jeopardy" is something specific you can realistically accomplish.

Think of the reasons you have resisted change up till this point. What do you gain by staying right where you are? Be really honest with yourself. Are you avoiding the pain of failure or uncertainty? Do you enjoy knowing exactly what each day will bring and how you will respond? Once you are clear on the benefits of not changing, write down what it is costing you. Make the list as detailed and personal as you can by looking for the hidden costs in terms of relationships and self - esteem, lost opportunities, and long - term regrets. Put the plus and minus sheets next to each other and compare. When the price of stagnation becomes greater than the effort to shift behavior, you will have the motivation you need.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.