Do you think much about change? It is a safe bet that change, or the concept of change, surrounds a good portion of your daily thought, consciously or subconsciously: change within ourselves, our surroundings or those in our immediate circle.

What makes people want to change? Notice that we didn't say, "think they should change."

There are many things that make people think they should change, and all of them add up to pressure which often begins outside themselves. This pressure might come via disapproval from work, a family member or friend. It may be social or cultural norms or even prohibition. It may be fear of punishment or humiliation.

When pressure to change is coming from outside, our desire to change is usually going to disappear as soon as the pressure is removed. It is a high probability that the results of our change efforts will not be sustained. What makes people really want to change is pressure coming from inside. Most important is the desire to move toward greater experiences of pleasure.

With the pressure of change comes the realization that if we don't change, we will be violating our own standards, failing to live like the person we know, or desire, ourselves to be. Next, we realize that the results of not changing will be far more painful than any discomfort we may create for ourselves if we do change. A technique that's useful when it comes to creating positive and lasting change is the power of your imagination.

Use the power of your imagination to create mental movies! Create vivid mental pictures linking two opposites. The first would be to visualize pleasure and rewards to the behavior you want. The second is to connect a mental picture of the pain and discomfort to the behavior you want to get rid of.

Play these "mental movies" for yourself several times a day, every day. If you really focus your attention on them, you will be creating new associations in your brain, associations that will make it much easier for you to change your behavior in a lasting, positive way. Try it. What do you have to lose?