Make Life Easier On Yourself! Tips for making tough decisions

During the weeks leading up to my travels from Indiana to California, I made a few choices - some good and some not so good. On May 31, 2009, my lease ended two weeks before I was scheduled to leave for my road trip.  Instead of asking my property manager if I could stay two weeks longer and pay a prorated rent, I asked a friend if I could stay with her for free in an effort to save a little money. Staying with my friend meant I had to move my belonging from my apartment to storage while keeping a few things for the next few weeks before my trip out west. My friend owned a three-bedroom house and hadn’t lived with a roommate for some time.  After a few days staying with her, I came home to find her having a mini melt-down because she couldn’t take a having another person staying at her house. Since I had already given up my apartment, I needed to find another place to stay. Thankfully a friend of mine said I could stay with him.  I was happy I had a place to stay, but this meant another move.  Looking back, I realized my original decision to move out of my apartment two weeks before my road trip wasn't the best decision I have ever made, but we all go through times like this and… I look back at the situation and think, why didn’t I stay in my apartment and pay the extra rent. Was saving a few hundred bucks worth it? The answer is unequivocal, “no!”


One day, when trying to make a similar decision, a  close friend of my said, "Tamara, why don’t you make life easier on yourself?” I now take this wisdom with me whenever I go. That doesn’t mean I always take the easy path, but if there is a choice that is easy and in line with my highest good, I’m ready for that route. 

I see many people choose paths, be it a big decision or a little one, that doesn't make life easier for them or others.  One choice that blows my mind  is when people, who have a decent amount of possessions, chose to move their residence without renting a moving truck. Instead, they ask family and friends, who have vehicles, to help move.  The process then requires several trips to and from the new residence and loading and unloading the truck. I once saw my neighbor move with only a pickup truck for a day and a half. It looked so exhausting an inefficient.  Had they taken the time to rent a U-Haul, they could have finished the job in about two hours and saved time and possibly money (gas prices) for everyone. I believe his friends would have like a move that took two hours versus a day and a half of moving.

Why do we make these decisions that make our lives more complicated?

For me, deciding to move out versus stay was all about saving money. I grew up in a household where money was not discussed positively. I repeatedly heard "money doesn't grow on trees," "I don't have any money," or "we can't afford that." Hearing this as a child, I developed some beliefs about money that may not have been the healthiest.  Even though today, I still love to get a great deal, I have learned that saving money at all costs, is not always the best choice. I learned that sometimes its okay to pay for convenience if it reduces stress and gives me more free time.  To work with  my beliefs about money was not an easy task, I  completed self-hypnosis, took financial related courses  like Financial Peace University with Dave Ramesy, Financial Abundance with Summer McStravick, and 24 Hours of Abundance with Christie Marie Sheldon. I haven’t completely rid myself of the negative beliefs about money but I have made tremendous progress.  Here are some tips you can use to make better decisions.


 Tip 1- Good old Pros and Cons

One of my favorite techniques to use with clients, when making a decision, is creating a pros and cons lists. It doesn't tell you what to do, but it will provide you possible outcomes of each choice. I recommend creating your lists with an objective third party to create a thorough list. Sometimes when we are not able to be objective or possesses hidden beliefs, it prevents us from making the best decision.

Recently I was helping a client to make a decision between two job offers. He wanted me to tell him what the right decision was, but I knew that wasn’t in his best interest. Each job offer had its own pros and cons. Before coming to me, he had made up his mind regarding which job he preferred, but after speaking to some colleagues, he became even more confused, and didn’t know what to do. He decided to consult me, and… together, he and I wrote a pros and cons list for each decision.  After creating the list, it was clear one offer was a better fit, because it clearly had more qualities that fit in the pro category. Although the decision with fewer advantages had one major one, it had too many drawbacks. Working through this process allowed him to validate what he felt was the right decision in the beginning.

Tip 2: Write a list of things you want


Before you decide between two things, write or type a list of the things you would desire. For example, if you are looking for a new job, write out a list of things you’d like to obtain in your next position. Do you want to work for a large or medium size company? How much money do you want to make? Do you want to supervise people or be an independent contributor? Do you want autonomy or do you like more specific direction? Do you want a collaborative work environment or to work solo? Once you have your list put together, you can then compare your list with the offers you have been given.  You can then determine which decision is more in line with your goals and values. You can use this method in many types of decisions.

I recently used this with a client who didn't feel like she was dating the right guy.  I asked the client to create a list of her ideal mate including personality, features, and how she would feel with him. Before the list, she was selecting men simply by her feelings, which was not working well. versus whether possessed the type of qualities she would looking for in a mate. Now that she has a list, she can objectively determine if the guy possesses her desired traits before getting emotionally involved with someone who is not compatible.

Tip 3: Meditate, pray, or use some self-hypnosis

I once heard a story about a person who was about to buy their dream home. The house had everything this person wanted, but something inside her said, “don’t buy this home!” On the surface, it was beautiful; it checked all the boxes from her wish list - great neighborhood, good price, etc. However, she just couldn’t shake this nagging feeling that buying the house was a wrong decision. She trusted her gut and did not buy the house. A few weeks later there was a flood in the neighborhood,  and the house she almost bought was significantly damaged. Had she bought the house, she would have had a brand-new home with a damaged home. Not the welcome home most people desire.

meditate pexels-photo-139931.jpeg

Sometimes making decisions through a logical or analytical process is not the best choice for us. Occasionally, even the most logical decisions look good on paper, but your gut tells you otherwise. Trust this instinct! If you meditate, pray, or utilize hypnosis, you can go within and ask for guidance.  You could ask for the answer to come right now, to unfold over the next few days, weeks, months, or to be shown signs for the best decision.

Many times, the universe tells us when we are making a decision that is not in line with our highest good. The universe will continue to put obstacles in our way to give us an opportunity to reflect and say, “is this the right decision?” Have you ever noticed when you'd made a decision that is in line with your highest good, how things just fall into place, even when they seemed impossible? I knew a friend who was recently divorced. He and his wife were looking to buy a home in California, but never were able to find the right home or the right deal. The housing market was at an all-time high and was a seller’s market. He was financially unstable, due to debt from his marriage,  alimony, and child support. Each time he tried to look at a home, apply for a mortgage, or move forward, he faced a roadblock. A few months later, he learned he would be relocated to the east coast. This is an example of…If you continuously face barriers, it may be a sign that you are not on the right path.

If you have noticed patterns in your life where you would like to make better decisions, but something inside you is preventing you from doing so, hypnosis can help. Through hypnosis, you can find mental blocks or unhealthy beliefs that are preventing you from moving forward. There are several processes that can be utilized to move past these beliefs including regression to cause, neurolinguistics programming, and emotional freedom technique.

It's time to make life easier for yourself.

Tamara Small  - Happiness Now  - Hypnotherapist & Career Coaching

Schedule your free 15-minute consultation today!


instagram Block
This is an example. To display your Instagram posts, double-click here to add an account or select an existing connected account. Learn more

Does it Take a Tragedy to Make Us Change?


Recently, my father was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. As you could imagine, many things must have raced through his head after hearing such a diagnosis. He had a couple options; he could decide life was over and stop living or he could “take the bull by the horns” and live every moment like it was his last. Since my dad’s diagnosis, he has chosen to live life by spending time doing the things he wants to do. Most recently, he has taken two trips to Florida one of his favorite places. Each time we speak, I encourage him to do the things he loves. Pre-cancer, he would likely have chosen to work versus take two trips to Florida.  It’s not uncommon to hear of something tragic being a pivotal turning point.

In life, we all face trials and tribulations; it is not what happens to us but how we deal with it and look at the situation. A divorce, death, affair, cancer, drug addiction… to name just a few. When something negative happens, do you ask why me and become a victim? Or, do you take this as an opportunity to grow and reinvent yourself?

You see people who have made significant differences in the world after major tragedies for instance John Walsh hosted America’s Most Wanted and helped solve several cases after experiencing the tragic loss of his son Adam. Brad Snyder, US Navy veteran, became a Paralympic gold medalist after losing his sight during active duty. Brad was a keynote speaker at a conference I attended a few years ago. Seeing someone go through such a traumatic event but persevere anyway, is truly inspiring.

The examples above are things that happen to these individuals, but what about when we are personally sabotaging our own success?

A friend of mine, we will call her Theresa, struggled with alcoholism for five years. After a night of heavy drinking, she came to work intoxicated.  Because she was at work and noticeably under the influence, she was sent home and given a final written notice. She was advised that if she came to work with any traces of alcohol in her system in the future, she would be fired.  Due to the fear of losing her job, she began to attend Alcohol Anonymous (AA) and tried to get help. A month or two later, she came to work again with alcohol on her breath. She knew the consequences of these actions, yet she came to work under the influence of alcohol anyway. She was put on administrative leave until the official decision was made regarding her employment. During the next two weeks, her life spiraled apart.  She gave up on life, drank excessively, and almost killed herself by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Don’t worry; this story does have a happy ending.

Why did it take death knocking on her doorstep for her to make permanent, lasting changes? Why is it that sometimes life needs to kick us in the pants for us to make significant changes?

For me, and I am sure for many others, it is hard when we see friends or family going down the road to self-destruction. Is it because they are in denial or not ready to make the changes necessary to get out of the situation? It is likely that they are in one of the early stages of the change model.

The Transtheoretical Model of Change

trasnformational change model.png


According to the Transtheorectical Model of Change, we move through several stages when making transformations in our lives. By learning the model and phases, you can save yourself time, heartache, anxiety, and stress.

Here are a few quick definitions of the stages of change.


The individual may or may not know there is an issue. He/she is generally not at a stage where an action will be taken. It is likely Theresa didn’t realize how  alcohol had affected her life both personally and professionally. She received the written warning but did she understand the gravity of the situation.


The individual may realize there is an issue and are contemplating the pros and cons of change, but still are not ready for it. After Theresa received the final written warning, it is likely she was weighing the pros and cons of drinking and not drinking again.


The individual knows there is an issue and decides to research and learn about options he/she can take to make the change. It is likely he/she will be ready to make the change soon. After Theresa went on a week-long bender, she knew it was time to get help. She lost her job, and her marriage was in jeopardy. She began to research alcohol rehab treatment centers and knew she had to make significant life changes.


The individual is committed to making a change and taking determined efforts to produce the desired change. Theresa entered a 30+ day alcohol treatment center when she could get sober, improve her health, and obtain counseling services.


The individual develops a plan to maintain the positive change he/she has successfully made. Theresa regularly attends AA, outpatient counseling, and does not drink alcohol.


The individual reverts to the old behavior he/she has been abstaining from over the past several days, months, or years. It is a standard stage of change. If Theresa had a relapse, she will start over into the action phase. Perhaps, she could speak with her sponsor to help her get back into the maintenance phase.

Theresa has gotten her life back on track. She has a new job; her health is better than it has been in years. As a result, she has managed to lose 25 pounds and her marriage is on the way to being repaired.  She is happier than she has been in years!

Can you identify with Theresa, or is there something in your life that you’d like to change? In our society, we are quick to give people labels or take possession of temporary states. “She is an alcoholic”, “He has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”, “She has anxiety”, or “He has depression, which he’ll have the rest of his life”.

Through my study of hypnosis and neuroplasticity, I have learned that alcohol use, anxiety, or vices like sugar addictions are habits we use to cope with underlying issues, not who we are. If you stop drinking, you are no longer an alcoholic, you are a person who had a drinking problem. A young lady, who I went to high school with, was a drug user. She became pregnant and stopped using for the health of her baby. After being sober for some time she said, “I now remember why I used drugs, I don’t like myself very much”. The drugs were a coping mechanism that she used to distract herself from the true issue at hand.

If you’d like to make changes in your life, a good starting place is evaluating your emotional health. Through hypnotherapy, we can help you deal with past emotions and navigate through the stages of change to achieve the life you desire. In a hypnosis session, there are several techniques we can use to deal with your emotional health. Regression is a common tool that is used to go back to the initial sensitizing event. Other tools like the Meta pattern, allow us to visit other triggering events without having to relive the initial trauma. The tool that is used is based on the clients and their needs.

Visit Happiness Now for more information!

It Made Me Feel Like I had the Flu!

It Made Me Feel Like I had the Flu!

Two weeks ago, I hurt my back and was in tremendous pain. So much so that I asked my colleagues to call an ambulance because I couldn’t move off the floor without immense pain. To move me, the EMT’s had to give me morphine which I was grateful to have. Sometimes western medicine is necessary and appreciated.  I do, however, think that occasionally western medicine can be more harmful than good. Back in 2012, I broke my leg and had to have surgery to insert a plate on the fractured bone for it to heal correctly. After the surgery, I felt like I had the flu for a week. Merely brushing my teeth took every ounce of energy I had.  I mentioned this feeling and lack of energy to my doctor, and he stated that sometimes Anastasia stays in your body for a few days and it should go away. Nine months later, the plate in my leg was causing problems and needed to be removed.

You Don’t Have to Suffer

You Don’t Have to Suffer

Being in the hypnosis field has changed the way I listen and hear conversations with family, friends, and clients. Over the past month, I have encountered individuals who have severe phobias around driving. It breaks my heart to hear people who have suffered through this fear in a country where driving is almost a must. In some countries, public transportation is very efficient and useful, but if you don’t live in Chicago or New York, it’s likely you will need to drive or be driven to places. Guess what?! You don’t have to suffer! It is possible to get rid of a phobia in as little as 10 minutes.

Happy New Years! What Does 2018 Have In Store For You?

Happy New Years! What Does 2018 Have In Store For You?

For some 2017 was full of changes and challenges, and many people couldn't wait for the year to end. 2018 brings hope for a better year in love, relationships, career, finances, and home. How your year will be is not determined by what happens in your life but by how you react to life's events. Have you ever experience the phenomenon when you buy a new car (or another item) and as soon as you take it home you begin to see the car everywhere? You don't consciously try to look for your automobile, but you do it anyway. This same principle can happen with seemly positive or negative items. You can choose to watch for positive things in your life or negative ones.

I Hate Christmas

I Hate Christmas

Neighborhoods decorated with bright lights, snowmen, and reindeer which can trigger feelings of joy, pleasant memories, and bring about the spirit of Christmas. For others, those same items could bring feelings of sadness, depression, or thoughts of loved ones that have passed on.

About ten minutes before I left the office today, I heard a loud crash. I ran outside and saw a car had crashed into a truck of an elderly couple. The vehicle was hit hard enough that the airbags deployed. It didn't appear anyone was severely injured. Being in a car accident sucks any time of the year but right before the holidays make it especially sad. I wondered how this would affect both parties holidays.

Being an Active Listener Isn’t Always Good!

Being an Active Listener Isn’t Always Good!

You Don’t Have to Listen
In general, being an active listener is an excellent quality to possess, but there are times when listening can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Yes, you heard me correctly, listening could be bad for your health. As young children through our adulthood, people are regularly telling us things. Some of the things that are said are good while other things are not so good. Therefore, it is crucial for you to decide when it is or is not important to listen.
When is it bad to listen?

I want to step back a second to provide you with some context of why I am bringing up this topic. Most hypnotists learn about direct suggestion during their certification training. The hypnotist uses direct implications,