A lot of people are unhappy as a result of how they live their lives. And in addition to their unhappiness, their bad habits often affect the people around them.
They’ll talk about turning things around and making changes, but very few of them actually do.
The truth is that changing your life can be a very difficult thing to do.
It requires work, dedication, and patience, and not everyone has what it takes to go through with it.
So, how can you tell when it’s just talk and when someone is actually trying to change their life?
By looking at their behavior!
When someone is genuinely trying to change their lives, they’ll do these 8 things:
1) They set clear goals
Why is it important that they set clear goals?
Because otherwise, it’s just wishful thinking.
They’d like something to change but if they don’t give it much thought and set a clear goal, there will be no change.
That’s why one of the first signs that someone is serious about making a change is the fact that they’ve set at least one clear and achievable goal.
It can be related to their career, health (sobriety), or relationships – what’s important is to have well-defined objectives to give them a sense of direction.
2) They take responsibility for their actions
This is especially true for people whose behavior negatively affects other people.
For example, your loved one could have an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. And when it gets out of control, it’s bound to negatively affect you and other people who love them.
That’s when they’ll start to make promises, “I’ll change! I swear it.”
But how can you know they’re serious and not just making empty promises?
You see, folks who are serious about change don’t blame others or external circumstances for their problems but instead recognize their role in creating their current situation.
3) They have a plan
When someone has a well-thought-out plan or strategy to achieve their goals, it’s because they’re serious about changing.
Let’s take the above example again – addiction.
How are they going to stop? How will they get clean?
They’ll come up with a plan:
- Step 1: Acknowledge the problem.
- Step 2: Get educated by learning about the risks of addiction to your physical and mental health.
- Step 3: Get help. Reach out to a healthcare professional, therapist, or addiction specialist who can provide guidance and treatment options.
- Step 3: Get rid of negative influences and that includes toxic relationships.
- Step 4. Build a support system. Surround yourself with friends and family who understand your situation and can provide emotional support.
- Step 5 identify triggers: Recognize the situations that trigger your addictive behavior.
- Step 6 Develop Coping skills: Learn healthy ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and other emotions that may lead to addictive behavior.
- Step 7 Long-term maintenance: Addiction recovery is an ongoing process. Continue to attend therapy and support groups, and engage in self-care.
- Step 8: Be patient and persistent: Recovery is not linear, and setbacks may occur. Be patient with yourself and stay committed to your recovery journey.
I think you got the gist.
Whatever it is that they’re trying to change, having a clear plan to follow shows that they’re serious. Plus, it’s sure to increase their chance of being successful.
4) They educate themselves
It’s easy to talk about changing one’s life, but people often don’t know what that really means and they’re not prepared.
Do you know what happens then?
They’re surprised by the various challenges they have to face and they give up.
So when you see someone trying to learn as much as they can about the journey they’re about to embark on – by reading books, taking courses, or seeking advice – you can be sure that they’re genuinely trying to make a change.
5) They take action
Here’s the thing: Wanting to make a change and having a plan doesn’t mean anything unless they put that plan into action.
The first step is often the hardest and will probably mean stepping out of their comfort zone. There’s just no way around it.
In short, if they’re serious about making a change the only way to do so is by taking action.
6) They keep at it
Here’s where it gets interesting…
If you want to be sure someone is genuinely trying to make a change, wait for things to get difficult.
That’s usually when a lot of people give up.
Let’s say for example that the person in question is a friend that can’t hold down a job.
You’re tired of having to always bail them out when they run out of cash, but they swear this time it will be different.
- See how they handle their first week of getting up early each morning to get to work.
- Watch what happens when they get assigned tasks they think are beneath them.
- What about when they get bored?
If in spite of the various challenges and obstacles they face, they are persistent and don’t give up easily, it’s another sign that they’re serious about turning things around.
7) They surround themselves with positive influences
Another way to know that someone is genuinely trying to change their life is if they seek out a supportive and positive environment.
You see, who we choose to spend our time with has a great impact on our lives.
Sometimes people need to cut ties with negative influences and replace them with positive ones.
And while it’s not easy to say goodbye to old friends, it’s super important to be surrounded by people who support their transformation and who are on a similar path.
Otherwise, if they try to change their lives without changing the people they spend their time with, there’s a very big chance that they’re life change will be unsuccessful and things will remain as they are.
Just think of an addict who is trying to get clean while they’re surrounded by addicts.
8) They adopt healthy habits
Whether it’s overcoming addiction, addressing health issues such as diabetes, or dealing with obesity, a genuine desire for change includes adopting healthy habits.
Here are some examples:
- They’ll stop drinking and smoking.
- They’ll replace sweets with fruits and fatty foods with veggies.
- They’ll be sure to get 8 hours of sleep, exercise regularly, and adopt stress management techniques.
Look, change is not an overnight transformation but a continuous journey.
People who are genuinely trying to change their lives for the better understand that change is a process.
They’re not looking for a quick fix, they’re patient and persistent in their efforts, because positive change is worth the wait.
So if a loved one says they want to change, remember to be patient and supportive.