Question: There are things in my life I want to change and yet I seem, many times, to sabotage myself and to not follow through on my intentions. What can I do to overcome my seeming resistance to making the changes that I say I want to make and that I know will improve my life?

Wanting to Change

Dear Wanting to Change,

Begin by checking your attitude and feelings towards the changes you say you want to make. Make sure they are the desires of your heart and not things you think you “should” be or do. Do you greet the day with expectations of a new day to experience growth and joy or do you think it will be the same old routine? To be spiritually alive, know there is not a situation you cannot overcome when you look at it fearlessly. Declare that you are open to change and welcome new insights as you trust that the negative beliefs, the blocks to your desired good, will be revealed to you. It is then they can be healed and replaced with a new approach to welcoming all the good you desire to come into your life.

Start your day with the affirmation: Today I find new ways of doing things, new ways of exploring my relationship with the Divine. I am open and receptive to the spiritual guidance that comes to me. I allow myself to become the channel for all the experience today and I am grateful.

And so it is!


Rev Cathie Sinfield

Rev. Cathie Sinfield
Redondo Beach Center for Spiritual Living


Dear Wanting to Change,

I wish I knew what manner of change you desire. However, failing that and concentrating only on what you have said in your short letter, please know that change is not easy. We are creatures of habit and we tend to do, be, have what we already know. 

We want the familiar even if it isn’t the best thing for us … and we know it. For example, smoking. Everyone knows that smoking will destroy your lungs among other things. People who smoke somehow don’t connect that knowledge to the fact that they are contributing to their own demise. Or if they do connect the information to their own health they might reason that all they are doing is shortening their life by a few years at the end. The thought is that those years don’t matter anyway. 

I disagree! The horrors of emphysema and COPD are not worth whatever benefits you might think you are getting by lighting up.

Baby steps are a good method of achieving change of any kind. Giant leaps and drastic measures seldom work and often end by creating a worse predicament than what was going on in the first place. For example, if you want to lose weight and try to do it by completely changing your diet and exercising furiously you will probably end up by gaining weight and making your overall health worse in the end than when you started.

By the way, it takes 21 times to change a habit. You must make the change 21 times and then you have a chance of making it a permanent change. Once you truly decide to make the desired change, you must visualize it in your mind. See yourself doing the change. It won’t be easy, especially the first 21 times. Once you decide you must continue doing it and not allow yourself to go back to your previous way. 

When those critical 21 times have passed it will be easier and easier to do the new thing. In time you will have trained yourself so thoroughly that you won’t even think of the old way you used to do it. If you somehow get sidetracked and mess up before the 21 times have been established, you must start over from the beginning.

Good luck on your journey and, if you are truly committed, you won’t let anything be a barrier to the new you!

Rabbi Janet Bieber