As an experienced clinical psychologist, trauma-informed mindfulness, meditation and yoga instructor, and Ayurvedic doula, I have developed expertise in a diverse range of Eastern and Western healing modalities to offer women personalized paths to holistic growth and transformation. I believe that we all have an innate capacity for empowered and resilient living, and with the right combination of support, tools, and commitment to taking steps toward change, growth and transformation are always possible, regardless of how ingrained our thought patterns and habits may feel.
In times of transition, there are opportunities for new beginnings, but how do we make positive changes in life?
It’s important to identify our values, intentions and goals as we embark on this journey.
These interrelated agents of change create a synergistic effect in motivating and propelling us toward personal transformation.
Let’s examine six steps for approaching a change-oriented process and effectively achieving what we want — change that is purpose-driven, sustainable and grounded in the real practicalities of our lives.
Think about the values that feel most important to you and why you wish to make a change.
If you notice an urge to make a change and aren’t sure about how it is connected to your values, ask yourself… Why does this particular change mean something to you?
When you drill down to the heart of why a certain goal or change feels worthwhile, the more specific you can be about your values.
A connection to our deeper values and sense of meaning is often what continues to motivate us when we face challenges.
Intention is about how we approach our life and how we commit to showing up.
How do we choose to be, regardless of external forces?
The intention is the tone or the quality we choose to embody.
The beauty of intentions is they can be practiced whether or not your goal is achieved; it’s your way of being, your process and your approach.
Intentions can serve as guideposts to help us reflect on whether there is anything we need to shift within ourselves.
Maybe your intention is to slow down and find more balance as you move toward creating change.
How will you express this?
Choosing to incorporate a daily brief walk or breathing exercise are ways to embody this intention on your path to change.
Now that you’ve identified your values and intentions, it’s time to begin your goal-setting.
What will you be doing to work toward this change and what is one place to start?
There is a Chinese proverb: “Dig where the ground is soft.”
You may choose a goal that feels easiest as you work on making a life change. Or your “soft ground” could be a goal that produces the quickest results in achieving change.
Play with this proverb and discover what “soft ground” means for you.
The important thing is to set attainable goals and be realistic about your commitment and motivation for achieving them.
Choose one goal that is a good starting place for soft ground, and fine-tune the goal so that you maximize your chances of success.
Using the SMART goals framework to clarify your goal can be helpful.
Developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham, SMART goals guide the process by asking the following…
Is your goal:
After working toward your goal, taking time to evaluate and reassess your process is often necessary.
Adjust your plan for change as needed, based on your progress so far.
Change can produce a ripple effect throughout our lives.
Think about the broader context.
Consider the logistics and difficulty of implementing your plan for change and the level of commitment and relational support you have for doing so.
Reflecting on the impact of change in the larger context of your life and approaching your goal with confidence can help with your success.
Anticipate barriers to change and create a plan for addressing them.
What is your past experience in achieving your goals and what problems did you encounter?
Your coping strategy can also include a plan for:
If you’re ready to create meaningful change in your life you can do the following:
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