Working on changing a behavior? Here are 5 signs you might be in trouble while doing so.

  1. You bit off more then you can choose. If you choose something with a big long to do list you may have trouble. Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying, Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). Try one thing at a time. It takes 90 days to institute a new behavior so be gentle with your soul. Keep a journal and consider a peer to help keep you accountable.
  2. Making your intention too broad or too vague. For example: saying “I am going to exercise” without having a specific daily or weekly plan is destined for failure. If you want to write a book or a blog make your goal specific. Say instead, “I am going to write x number of words per day. I am going to walk so many miles, work with a trainer, etc.” Specificity is paramount!
  3. Watch how you frame things or talk about your intentions. Be positive when framing change. If you want to stop eating junk food, stop smoking, or stop complaining  – it’s about framing all through the lens of goodness. The best way we may feed ourselves and others is through positive self talk. What positive affirmations have you said about yourself today?
  4.  It’s not tied to your current habit. If you are adding something new to your life remember it takes 90 days to integrate a new behavior and make that a habit. If you want to meditate each morning, try to incorporate that into your daily routine. Meditation becomes part of your daily routine and then your daily ritual becomes part of you.
  5. Having a wish not a commitment. If a New Years resolution is more of a wish then a commitment then it is doomed to fail. If I wish to get my body in shape and I don’t have a plan or I wake up each day and wish I could stop drinking without help and a plan, I am bound for failure, shame and guilt. However, if I am able to develop a specific plan with a specific commitment then I will be able to succeed.
  6. And One Bonus Item — You ARE Worth It!  Lastly, it’s important to be able to say I am worthy of change. If you think you are not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, etc then change will have a hard time being your bedfellow. Wake up each morning and each night and let that reflection in the mirror know you are worthy.


  • Louise Stanger Ed.D, LCSW, CDWF, CIP

    Writer, Speaker, Clinician, Interventionist

    Dr. Louise Stanger founded All About Interventions because she is passionate about helping families whose loved ones experience substance abuse, mental health, process addictions and chronic pain. She is committed to showing up for her clients and facilitating lasting change so families are free from sleepless, worrisome nights. Additionally, she speaks about these topics all around the country, trains staff at many treatment centers, and develops original family programs. In 2018, Louise became the recipient of the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House Excellence in Service Award. She most recently received the Interventionist of the Year Award from DB Resources in London and McLean Hospital - an affiliate of Harvard University, in 2019. To learn more, watch this video: and visit her website at