Dr. Mary E. Lee - Registered Psychologist - Grande Prairie Alberta

Creating Personal Change

The fall is a time of change. Here in northern Alberta days are shorter, nights cooler, and leaves turn color and fall. Students have returned to school and farmers are harvesting. It is no wonder so many of us think about making personal changes.

The problem with personal change is actually doing it. We tend to start with a goal and good intentions but often lose track along the way. Sometimes it is the everyday grind of trying to live the change that has us going back to our old habits. Other times, stress can leave our new goals in the dust. Whatever the reason for it; we tend to revert back to the familiar or our “set- point”.
Although there may be different definitions for the term “set- point”, I call it our ‘familiar or typical ways of behaving’. It can be someone who procrastinates; resulting in paper work never being. It may be someone who does not exercise or eat properly; resulting in health problems or dissatisfaction with one’s appearance. Perhaps it is someone who is so used to being anxious; they do not know another way of being. Whatever “it” is; our set point is our typical manner of acting and reacting.

A first step to making personal change last is to become aware of our “set point”. What are your everyday habits or manners of behaving? How do you react when stress occurs? Each day; ask yourself; “What is happening now; in this moment?” Think about your thoughts and actions in that moment. Being aware of our typical habits or manners of thinking and behaving can provide a stepping stone to making a lasting change. It provides us with the information needed to choose to act differently. So, what is happening for you now, in this moment? What do you aspire to have things like in this moment? Seeing the gap between the two may help you in creating a new “set-point”.

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