What kinds of things help support us in changing or creating a new habit? Visualizing can be very compelling for some people. The clearer you picture your goal and how good you will feel when you reach it, the easier it becomes to make the necessary changes to get there. Affirmations can also help you reach a goal. Come up with a statement as if you’ve already achieved what you wish. “I AM happy,” rather than, “I want to be happy,” and then repeat it throughout the day, every day until you are on your way. Having structure with others can also help you to change. If, for example, you want to get in shape, you can join a class at a community college for weight training, aerobic work outs, or sport. In a class you are given an outline of expectation, a schedule for working out, a finite course over a number of weeks and most likely you will have to keep a record of your workouts and your performance will be reviewed, which means you must be accountable to someone. It will be easier to stick with because you won’t be doing it alone. Working out in your own home has the convenience of location and time, but there is no accountability except to yourself and you have no company while doing it. If you’ve been having difficulty establishing a new habit, find a group or a class where you can join others who are trying to achieve similar goals. There are other things too, that can make it easier or harder to change. One is our image of our self and our abilities. Do we believe we will succeed, or do we expect we will quit? Can we picture ourselves (again the visualization) where we want to be, or are we uncomfortable with the idea of being there? For instance, would you be comfortable being wealthy, or would you feel guilty for having wealth when so many are poor? You will have to work out any issues you have before you will be able to comfortably keep a new habit or lifestyle. Sometimes a little change goes far to support making a big change. For instance, some men will grow a beard or shave one off and some women will change their hairstyle or hair color when they are mentally trying to create a larger change in their lives. They might shave a beard when they begin dating, or color their hair when they are trying to lose weight. A little visible change acts as a reminder that you are indeed changing and not quite the same person you used to be. Redecorating a room in your house or your office is another small change that can serve as a reminder for other changes in habit or new attitudes.