THE ADVOCATE 69
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
By Shari R. Pearlman*
The end of one year and start of a new one can bring opportunities for
reflection about changes we would like to make in our lives. Sometimes,
the desire for change conflicts with an awareness that we feel stuck and
unable to change. When we’re stuck, it’s not healthy, but it’s familiar.
Change feels hard. It seems easier to stay in that stuck place than to
change, even though change can bring positive results for us and make us
feel and be healthier.
Change can feel overwhelming, but often all we need is to take one small
step to create momentum. Below are some quick tips for getting the ball
rolling and creating positive energy.
Tips for Getting Unstuck
1. Break it down into small steps. Pick one step to start. High achievers
tend to take on a lot. We often start with a laundry list of things that we
think are wrong with ourselves: we’re not eating right or exercising
right, social enough; or prioritizing ourselves. The laundry list seems
insurmountable and leads to our feeling overwhelmed because there
are too many things we want to change. If we start with the behaviour
we want to change or realize we’re stuck in an unhealthy pattern, picking
one small action will often get the ball rolling and eventually lead
to a healthy pattern, behaviour or situation. Rather than make a plan to
change every single thing on your list, just pick one thing to start.
Choose a small item with a tangible result. You want evidence that you
can change. The end result is that you feel the success, and you can
build on that success by taking yet another small step.
* Shari R. Pearlman, L.C.S.W., J.D., is a lawyer counsellor with LAPBC.