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3 Steps to Making Change Stick

Whether we’re trying to work on stress, anxiety, depression, or addiction, many of us try to integrate new practices in our lives only to find that they don’t really stick. The gravity of our everyday lives begins to weigh in and we just get pulled back to the place where we’re most comfortable. We can end up isolating, catastrophizing, or reaching for whatever pacifies us.  

Integrating mindfulness into daily life is the same. Here are 3 things to do in order to have a better chance at sticking to it:

  1. Know the practice – If you’re trying to integrate the ability to become more present in your daily life, choose what you want to practice. You may want to integrate more formal practice that would come in the form of a sitting meditation or mindful yoga. Or maybe you want to integrate more informal moments of just being present to whatever you are doing. Or maybe both. Having an awareness of what you want to do is the first step.
  2. Set up reminders – As much as we’d like to think, “I got it all up here, I can remember,” there’s no fault in setting our environments up to support us in making the changes we want to make. For example, Stillness Buddy, is software program that apparently will remind you to have more mindful moments. The Mindfulness, Anxiety, and Stress Guide in Aliveworld will bring you through an entire mindful living program where it prompts you to set up reminders in daily life to remember to do practice.
  3. Support network – Many of us have the rule in our heads that “I can do it on my own.” The fact is, you are more likely to actually integrate a new practice if you have others alongside you who are trying to do the same thing. Finding a group of people in your area or on the web that you can connect with is very important to sustaining this practice. You can connect through the challenges, learn from others, and feel part of a community. The community also serves as reminder that this is important in your life.

Try these three things out with whatever you are trying to change. Really build them into your routine and have compassion for yourself as making changes is often a difficult challenge that is entirely attainable.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories, and questions below. Your interactions provide a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

3 Steps to Making Change Stick

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2009). 3 Steps to Making Change Stick. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 15, 2018, from


Last updated: 19 Aug 2009
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Aug 2009
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