Change is oftentimes something that a lot of us refuse to accept or don’t want. Yet, change is an important part of growing and helping us get outside of our comfort zones. While change is often inevitable, there are ways in which we can implement change ourselves to guide ourselves to better habits and mindsets.
“Self-change begins through self-awareness. Some easy ways to guide yourself to change are to assess the pros and cons of a behavior and consider how it impacts various areas of one’s life such as health, relationships, work and school performance,” said Megan Dann, a psychology trainee in the Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Program who is completing practicum at the Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self-Change Clinic.
The Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self-Change Clinic (Guided Self-Change) has been a program part of NSU since 1996 and was established by licensed Florida psychologists and members of the Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology and American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Drs. Linda Sobell and Mark Sobell. Designed to motivate individuals to reduce habits that can be harmful in the long run, Guided Self-Change offers services to those who are thinking about making changes in their life in the areas of alcohol, drug use, exercise and adapting to a healthier lifestyle.
“An important part of our philosophy is to meet people where they are in their lives, understand their values, needs and emotions and treat them with respect. Our program empowers people to take responsibility for their own change and utilize their own personal strengths to set and achieve their goals… We also offer services to those who would like to lose weight, quit gambling, improve sleep and reduce internet, phone or video game use… Due to COVID-19, we currently offer Free Online COVID-19 Social Support Groups for people who feel stressed by the pandemic,” said Dann.
Given change is a natural part of life and an ongoing process, in order to accept changes as they come, you must be willing to make changes yourself, especially if you are aware they are for your overall benefit. Therefore, the first step in making changes and accepting them is acknowledging that changes are necessary.
According to Dann, “Guided self-change is an active form of choosing a behavior, and changing that behavior to improve well-being… If a behavior didn’t have any good things associated with it, one wouldn’t likely engage in that behavior.”
In order to guide yourself towards self-change and transform your life, it is important to see yourself outside of yourself. By doing so, you’re able to look at your habits and decisions with a neutral standpoint and decide if it’s beneficial or harmful. It’s also important to focus on one habit at a time. While there may be many aspects you would like to change, in order to successfully grow, identify the habit associated with the thing you want to change and work on one habit at a time.
Setting realistic goals is crucial for self-change as well as being willing to take risks. Remember, you cannot become the person you want to be by continuing to be the person you currently are. Surround yourself with individuals who will tell you the truth, no matter how tough that feedback may seem, and know you can also turn to professionals.
“In my experience working at [Guided Self-Change] as a psychology trainee in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral (PsyD) Program, I have witnessed the continued progress and success of my clients. Many have expressed gratitude for our guidance and support in their journey to a healthier lifestyle,” said Dann.
For more information on Guided Self-Change, visit www.nova.edu/gsc, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow their Instagram at @guidedselfchange. For those interested in their COVID-19 Zoom Social Support groups, call (954)-262-5922, or if you’re interested in their free online smoking cessation services, call (954)-262-5860.
Stay tuned for an episode of the RadioX podcast Off the Record featuring Megan Dann coming soon.