How Do You Make Lasting Change?

Here we are again starting off a new year together! What do you plan to do differently this year?  Usually I outline resolutions and goals and like most of you forget about them along the way. Let’s do something different this year! Begin with a commitment to make change. To change something about ourselves is difficult but not impossible as long as we are willing to make an effort. Start with something small and focus on the positive results. Avoid toxic feelings that make you feel like you are giving something up. Change is not easy; In fact most of the time people resist change, feel awkward and don’t want to try new ways of doing things. We are all at different levels of readiness throughout our lives and can only handle so much change. Some people are risk takers while others require more time to feel secure. Generally, if we lose focus or take the pressure off, we will revert back to the old ways and change won’t happen.

In order to make this year different we have to be proactive, positive and productive. Get off the fence, stop finger pointing and blaming or as the theme song from Frozen goes…Let It Go! Here is a bit of Irony, just as I was writing this article a long-term client called and has finally hired an in-house marketing VP, so I will be on my way to something new next year. Drat…change strikes again.

In order to be positive and proactive, we must first rid ourselves of toxic behaviors and patterns that sabotage us. These types of behaviors often hold us back from making lasting change in our lives. Think about any toxic behaviors that you exhibit and are willing to eliminate. Some examples may include; not being direct with people, using non-verbal put downs, being dogmatic, playing games with people, being negative or not respecting other opinions. Don’t worry, we all have our toxic habits, work on a short list and really be honest. Once you have identified some areas that need to be overhauled jot them down and replace them with positive and nourishing behaviors.

For me, I am working on being present and giving others my attention. Some other examples of replacing negative behaviors with positive ones may be; keeping your word, treating others with respect, keeping confidences, expressing a genuine interest, showing appreciation to others, smiling and honestly stating desires and needs.

Once you have outlined the behaviors you want to rid yourself of and the complimentary list of new behaviors to replace your old ways with, you will be on your way toward making permanent and lasting change.

The last step is to finish with a list that states what you will do more of in 2015 and what you will do less of or stop doing all together. Cheers, here is to making permanent change!           

Jodi Cross is a marketing consultant, speaker and freelance writer and may be reached at or


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