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How to Change Life: Changing Yourself Step By Step; Coping with Problems; Breaking a Habit

Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest version: 13 Aug 2008.


How to change life to achieve something which you cannot achieve otherwise. It is difficult to change your own behaviour; this article describes how to succeed.


How can I change my behaviour? How to change life? How to break a bad habit?


If you want to solve your problems, you must be active and this often involves changing your habits and ways of thinking.

For example, you may want to reduce your weight, find a better job, complete a difficult task, or change your relations to other people.

These problems are difficult and extensive. To be successful, it might help to divide them into a number of smaller objectives. Begin with the one that comes first and then set new objectives. You do not have to make a list of all the objectives in advance.

Every objective must be clearly defined; e.g., if you want to reduce your weight, you may begin by deciding to take more exercise, but this is not at all clearly defined. It would be better to state that you intend to walk or cycle for 30 minutes a day.

It might be wise not to demand perfection from yourself. You could, for example, decide to exercise 30 minutes at least five days a week instead of 30 minutes a day. That gives you the possibility to succeed even if you don't manage to do it every day.

If you want to achieve a big change, it can be a good idea to divide it into a series of small short-time subgoals, which step by step will bring you closer to your final goal. For example, if your home is unclean and messy and you don't have the energy to clean it all at once, you could decide to clean for 30 minutes a day or do one room every Saturday and finally get the nice, clean home you long for, after a few weeks.

It is often easier to make small changes, one at a time, than large changes in your way of living. To completely change your eating habits may, for example, seem insurmountable. But if you take one step at a time, you will, after several steps, notice that you have achieved much more than you first thought possible.

It is obvious that this approach can be applied to almost anything you want to do.

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