Tired of feeling stuck? Ready to move forward with your life? It’s not as hard as it seems, if you take some baby steps toward breaking free of the things and thoughts that are holding you back. Here are five simple ways you can begin the journey toward becoming the person you want to be:

1. Admit it. Tell yourself exactly where you feel stuck. Whether you’re battling negative thoughts, struggling with relationships, frustrated with work, wondering about the health of your marriage, or ready to tear your hair out with parenting issues, the first step toward fixing issues is determining exactly what they are.

2. What failed? Think about what you’ve tried in the past in your unsuccessful attempts to get unstuck, and then make a promise not to repeat any of them in 2021. If they didn’t work last year or the year before that, they probably won’t work this year, either. It’s time for something new.

3. Choose one thing. Think about one way you’d like to behave differently during the next week. It’s unrealistic to expect to change everything about ourselves in a short time, but everyone can target and address one issue. So choose the one you’d like to change and start changing.

4. Find a guide. There’s someone who understands you and the way you think. It may be your BFF, it may be your sister, or it may be your pastor. No matter who it is, tell them what you’re trying to do and ask them to check in with you. Their job isn’t to scold you if you fall short of your goals; it’s to validate and support your decisions as you take one brave step at a time.

5. Congratulate yourself. One small step may not seem like a big thing, but it’s actually huge. If you can succeed at that first step, you’re ready to take the next one, and the one after that. Be proud of what you’ve done and give yourself some kind of small treat as a reward.

Does that seem difficult? Still not sure where to start? Maybe it is time to get extra support that a professional counselor can provide. Take a look at our team and find someone who looks like a good match for your needs … then make an appointment to talk about how you want to get unstuck. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness — it’s a brave sign of maturity and readiness for change.

Britt Smith is a therapist who specializes in working with kids, teens, and young adults. She is trauma trained, and a TBRI practitioner and educator.