Winning at Home: Breaking patterns and making changes

Dan Seaborn

Do you have a circumstance in your life that you know needs to change, but you just aren’t making the change? It can be pretty easy to spot these things in others, but we sometimes have a blind spot when it comes to ourselves.

So, I want to ask you: Is there a spirit, attitude or behavior that is part of your life and needs to be adjusted? This is something that you know if you changed things, you’d get a different result. My guess is that all of us have something like that, but here we still are, just doing things the way we’ve always done them.

I want to encourage each of us to make that change and start on it now. I know change can be intimidating and feel like it won’t be worth all of the uncertainty and frustration along the way. I want you to know that those feelings are absolutely normal at the start of doing things a different way.

We’re all drawn toward the comfort of routine in life—even when that routine is one that leaves us in a place we don’t want to be. It’s a strange fact of life: Even when we know that the outcome of something is not going to be great for us or the people around us, we still find ourselves drawn toward the old way because it’s familiar.

Think about why so many of us keep going with old habits, even when we see they aren’t doing us very much good. Addictive behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse are some obvious ones, but think a little deeper with me. Online shopping or scrolling fall into this category sometimes. So do some more obvious vices like porn or gambling.

Having unhealthy relationships with food does, too — both overeating and undereating. We can also think about our behavior in relationships. It’s easy to let a current of anger or sarcasm run through our interactions with our loved ones. Disinterest and dismissal can become patterns, too, if we’re not careful.

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I don’t have enough space in this column to list out all of the ways that we might be thinking or acting in negative and detrimental ways, but I hope this list got you thinking about where these types of things may show up in your own life and how you may want to take some steps to grow in a different direction.

The goal here is not that I identify an area for you to grow, but for you to identify an area for you to grow. Many people probably already knew their area of growth before they finished the first paragraph of this article. Like I mentioned before, I get that change and doing things a different way is challenging.

If you just needed a little encouragement in the right direction, then I hope that my words can give you the push that you needed. If you’re reading this right now but feel discouraged because you know you want to change and don’t see a way to, I want to encourage you to reach out to Winning At Home.

Our counselors and coaches work with people in similar spots on a daily basis. If you want to make a change, you are not on your own — please get in touch with us at 616-772-1733 or visit to learn more about the different options we offer.

— Dan Seaborn is the founder of the Zeeland-based group Winning at Home, which supports and nurtures marriages and families. Email questions or comments to

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Winning at Home: Breaking patterns and making changes