There are times when we feel we are ready for change. It might be quitting smoking, losing weight or finding a new job. Changing your life is not always that easy, but by creating that first new positive habit you can begin to gain confidence and increase your chances of success.
Creating That First New Positive Habit
by Sam Stieler
I remember watching a DVD of a seminar once. The host of the seminar looked out in the crowd and asked his clients what ‘learning’ means. There were a lot of answers shouted out, most of them pretty predictable.
One man yelled out ‘the accumulation of knowledge’ which the host explained was almost the complete opposite of learning.
The host listened for a few moments, and then told his clients that he felt that learning occurs once you change your habits. Before then, before you change how you act, you haven’t really learned anything.
This makes sense. You can accumulate all the knowledge you want, but it means nothing unless it actually changes your life, unless it actually changes the way you act.
Changing habits and really learning can be tough, and takes a lot of discipline. And no action requires more discipline than adopting that first new positive habit.
The first thing you need to do (after you’ve identified what habit you want to adopt) is you want to commit to making this change in your life.
You can do this in a formal or informal way, in a private or public manner. It’s a good idea to set a certain amount of time that you’re going to devote to making this change.
A lot of people recommend doing it for 30 days or a full month. This is an amount of time that most of us can wrap our minds around, it’s very easy to measure and track, and it’s enough time to really ingrain a habit into our routine.
Next, you want to continuously affirm and remind yourself of this habit throughout the day. You can do this in a loose way, such as whenever you feel compelled to break the new habit, or you can really systematize your affirmation of your new habit.
One way to do this is to write a mantra, or an affirmation, or even a one page essay about this new habit and why you are going to live according to it, and then to read this passage at set times during the day. Having a piece of writing that specifically affirms what you’re going to do and reading it throughout the day can go a long way to really etching this into your being.
It’s a good idea to reaffirm your habit first thing in the morning, then after meals, and then once before bed. This is a good schedule because it doesn’t require you to make any big changes to your schedule- instead you’re just tacking your affirmation onto things that are already part of your daily routine.
Making the big change will be difficult enough without having to re-arrange your schedule to remind yourself why you’re making it in the first place.
Reaffirming your goal is the best way to stay committed to it. After all, changing habits and really learning something is a process of transforming yourself and nothing less. That means transforming your mind, your actions, and most importantly- transforming your beliefs by consciously brainwashing yourself to fully understand and believe what your new life and your new self will be.
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