Defining the problem may be more challenging than it seems as it requires taking full responsibility for what you want to change. Letting go of any judgement or blame that may cloud the issue is important. Start with the word “I” and keep the language simple; own your problem with compassion.
Step two involves observing all activity that surrounds the problem until you are fully aware of how it operates. Cultivate your powers of observation, noticing the thoughts that accompany your behavior and the details of how it manifests. An attitude of “isn’t this interesting?” is helpful in remaining patient and non-judgmental in this process and keeping notes in a journal can prove useful. Inhibit any sense of urgency; take time with this step.
And finally, the third step is to do something different when you can. Small steps are often more effective than big ones in creating permanent change. Continue to observe the bigger picture as you implement incremental changes. Celebrate successes large and small, and if something doesn’t work, let it go and try something else.
Keep in mind that simple is not a synonym of easy. Having a support system to offer direction and encouragement can make this process less formidable and more fun, especially if you keep your sense of humor up and running.