One thing I’m not adverse to is change. In fact, I invite it willingly. This is no bad thing when it comes to personal development. Its really only when we stay zipped up and stifled into our comfort zones that we stagnate. Life is change. And its the only thing we can guarantee (that and our eventual passing). The tide of change is something that will reach us all; realizing this is both sobering and liberating.
Most of us have aspirations to let go of unhealthy habits which our conscience zaps much of the joy out of. Our conscience knows what’s best for us and nags when our actions are mismatched with those ideals. (Much like most mums do, really.) Perhaps for you that’s too much coffee, inactivity, gossip, eating naughty things before bed, taking the lift instead of the stairs. There are endless ways that our conscience tells us we can make a change for the better.
So how do we easily and successfully make choices that we know will serve us, and ditch the ones that don’t?
1) Measure: To get to our healthful destination, we first need to know where we are. So much of the time we fool ourselves into believing we only drink one glass of evening wine, or that we only watch an odd hour of reality telly per day, yet in fact we’re blinkered to the truth. Often we have old taped belief systems repeating in our heads, which can keep our wheels spinning in our effort to welcome positive change.
For instance, for years I believed I was getting enough sleep. It was only when my mother-in-law bought me Fitbit this Christmas that I was able to see how sporadic my sleep patterns actually were. Had I not seen evidenced proof I wouldn’t have had the knowledge-let alone motivation-to initiate change.
Don’t worry if you’ve not got a health measuring device like a Fitbit, a good old fashioned pen and paper works beautifully. For at least one day, write down how you spend your time, and what you consume. The more detailed the better. Tally how many glasses of water you drink, how long you scroll through social media, watch TV, what you eat.
Like me, I’m sure you’ll be surprised.
2) You may well be feeling a tad alarmed at how much your idealized Mind’s-Eye Version of You is so off what Actual You is doing. Please don’t. Do you know how many people spend entire lifetimes with their heads dunked in the sand, refusing to even look honestly at themselves? (Me neither, but its lots!) You are well on the way to achieving positive change, motivated by the candid self reflection work you’ve just done in step 1.
Each new day brings with it new birth, bursting with freshness, opportunity, a cusp of newness. Its blessedly cut off from the residual moods and conditions from the previous day. This is the time to kick-start good intentions.
Fresh into the day, plunge straight into adopting your new healthy habit. Then its done, and you’re left with a proud- of- yourself feeling for the remainder of the day. This feeling tone lifts your mood and attracts more loveliness through circumstances and interactions with those you encounter: Its our ol’ pal the law of attraction again:-)
3) “There is no try, only do.” (Yoda) The less you can involve your incessant nattering mind, the better. As I’m sure you’re only too well aware, thinking can be exhausting, especially when those thoughts chew over trying something new. Sometimes we get so out of puff with the thinking, we excuse ourselves from taking the desired action. When this starts to happen, congratulate yourself on your awareness and maneuver that awareness into your breath as it washes away the thoughts, bringing you back to the present and powerful Now. Then take Yoda’s advice and ‘do.’
A healthy, positive life is made up not of knowledge of such matters in theory, but tiny little positive deposits every day. You are constantly at choice throughout your day and always empowered to make healthier decisions.
This dropped into my email box from Mike Dooley’s ‘Notes from the Universe.’ Talk about divine timing…
“When someone is so “desperate” to have what they want to do, or be who they want to be, Yvette, that they’d rather take little, tiny, teensy steps in the direction of their dreams than face one more single day of doing without, I just can’t help but open the floodgates.
It’s perhaps my greatest weakness.
This week I’ve avoided logging into Facebook. I’ve been astonished with all the extra time accrued. As such I’ve exercised more, spent time with friends, found extra opportunity for a morning meditation and even cleaned the windows:-) I feel calmer, and more conscious. Happier, in fact. Just negating one naughty habit has garnered all this positivity. And… I’ve swopped morning coffee for hot lemony water. This teeny shift has had a significant residual effect. Not only do I feel less spacey, but instead of curbing my morning appetite it heightens my hunger, kick starting my metabolism. I eat breakfast earlier, and feel ready for the day much sooner.
Am I ever going to log into Facebook again, or have coffee at home? Of course! But I can make a intention to log in for 5 minutes at the end of the day, or only at weekends. I can make an intention to drink coffee at weekends only too, or with girlfriends. No doubt I’ll relish these ‘treats,’ ever more, thanks to their infrequency. Right now I’m focused on my next decision, and then the next. Spanning our vision too far into the future can be not only off-putting but frightening, so just make lots of little conscious choices in each moment you’re gifted with.
What small shifts can you make that could add up to big, positive differences?
You got this. Namaste.