1. Observe yourself without judgement. Self awareness is important since it is hard to change what you can’t see. Not judging is important because judgement is a roadblock to change; it is based in fear and argues for the status quo. Be willing to look deeper inside yourself and compassionately own even the parts you don’t like to look at; be curious about those part those parts instead of judging them and you may find new pathways for change.
2. Make small changes when you can. Even something as simple as reversing the order in which you put on your shoes causes you to interrupt habit and makes you pay attention. Increasing mindfulness will encourage more conscious choices.
3. When making conscious choices about behavior, ask yourself “Does this action lead me towards my goal or away from it?” Base your decisions accordingly as often as you can. To do this we often need to inhibit habitual behaviors and redirect our energies to actions that allow for positive feelings and more productive choices.
4. Try new things even when they feel uncomfortable. Take that dance class, get up onstage, volunteer to take on a task that is new to you. Even if you decide you don’t ever want to do it again, you will have learned something about yourself.
5. Question your assumptions. We all have beliefs that are founded in misinterpretations of events. If you want to take an interesting look at how this sometimes operates, read about 'pigeon superstition’. And we certainly are given misinformation at various times in our lives. Questioning your beliefs allows you to update as new information becomes available. Revising a belief or shifting perspective can open new vistas.
6. Explore creativity. Perhaps paint the emotions that you find difficult to express. Or learn a craft or activity that requires you to think along new pathways. Make time to do things that stimulate your brain to work in different ways, including physical as well as mental exercise. Entertain new thoughts. Read inspirational literature or take advantage of the multitude of podcasts that support personal growth.
7. Journal and /or have someone to talk with about your efforts and accomplishments. Accountability and support are helpful in maintaining a positive direction.
8. Celebrate even small progress. Positive acknowledgement nourishes change.