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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Time to Change Your Pattern

June 2008

I started my day this morning by taking a walk. It was an amazing experience. I could hear birds singing. I saw some beautiful flowers. I said hello to some friendly people. By the end of my thirty minutes, my endorphins had kicked in, and I was feeling joyful and peaceful. It was an incredible way to start my day.

As I was heading back into my house, I asked myself since this is such an incredible experience, why do I not give this to myself every day? The normal answers always come up: no time, too busy, too much to do. And the biggie for me is that I would have to get up earlier. I realized that those responses do not actually hold much water. I could go to sleep a half an hour earlier to get my sleep. The only thing that I would miss out on would be a half an hour of television. Not that much of a sacrifice. I am generally not doing anything at that time of the morning anyway, so too busy, too much to do, doesn’t cut it either.

Okay, really why do I not do get every morning and take a walk? Laziness? Yes, I could see that one. But the biggest reason is that I got stuck in a pattern that is comfortable, perhaps not healthy, but comfortable. Changing a pattern is one of the most difficult things that we can do. Habits stick around so long because they are patterns. Sometimes they become ruts. A rut is never healthy.

So, my goal for this summer is to create healthy patterns, healthy habits. These are things that make me a happy person. What patterns do you need to look at and perhaps change? What are the ruts that you have gotten into that would take some work to change, but really, not that much? Make a commitment to yourself to get into healthy patterns. As for me, I am getting up tomorrow and taking a walk.

Enjoy the journey.

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