Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

April 26, 2014

Mental Wellness: Get ready for changes in your life

Just four months ago, many of us made resolutions for 2014. Transitions and habits are hard. Even Mother Nature seems to be having a hard time transitioning into spring.

Transition is hard. We want to know and predict the future, so we’ll take what we understand every time over uncertainty, even if the uncertainty could create a larger reward.

Here are three effective strategies make seemingly impossible tasks and transitions much easier.

 

Brainstorm a new future

It’s hard to set goals if you don’t emotionally connect with them. The “why” is the gasoline of progress. It propels everything. Brainstorm a different future with a friend, partner, or spouse. What are all of the possibilities? Where are you most unhappy? What parts of your week do you dread? What parts are most exciting?

 

Outline success

Setting goals for the sake of the task is so early 2000s. It’s time to design a lifestyle. What is success, and I’m not just talking about money. If you keep asking “why” until you can’t stop, you’ll get to what is really driving the motivation. Once you get to that point, the clear measures of success can be outlined.

 

Start on the easiest

Some people will drop an atom bomb on their life to start fresh, but a strategic and measured approach is more my style. What is easiest to test? Maybe start a part-time business. Change something about your parenting. Work out because it focuses on you instead of everyone else. Starting with the small helps build a sense of accomplishment.

As the spring transition starts (please let it come soon) we can create a new life for ourselves. If we brainstorm the future and see the “why” of life, we’ll be motivated. This will help us clearly outline what success looks like. Then we’ll experience quick success when we focus on easy and small tasks. In doing this, we’ll be happier and transition into the people we want to be.

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is a counselor and consultant in Traverse City at Mental Wellness Counseling and Practice of the Practice. He can’t wait to start sailing again.

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