I’m so sorry for the delay in today’s post! I’ve been having problems with both my computer & my internet connection…not a good combination. Thanks for your patience (keeping my fingers crossed this doesn’t happen again)! Now on to the challenge…
Hopefully you’ve had some time to think about your life & recognize some of the habits you’ve created. Now that they’re “visible” again, I’m guessing you would like to do something about them. Below are a list of ways you can overcome bad habits & start to create new ones that you actually want!
Don’t just try to stop a bad habit, instead replace it with a new, better one. Every time the temptation of the old habit comes up, use it as a “trigger” to remind you to practice the new one.
EXAMPLE: If your bad habit was gossiping, you could work on developing the good habit of looking for the best in others. Every time the opportunity to gossip arises, you’ll be reminded to think of something nice to say instead.
Create an affirmation statement about the new habit you are creating. Remember, your subconscious mind thinks in pictures, so be sure you don’t give it a picture of something you don’t want! Also, state it in the present tense! If you say, “I’m trying to…..”, you are only reconfirming to yourself that you are not that way! But if you say, “I am…”, you start to believe it & act it.
EXAMPLE: The WRONG WAY to write an affirmation: “I am trying not to gossip anymore.” With this statement, your are reinforcing the word GOSSIP & the fact that you are a “gossiper”. The RIGHT WAY to write an affirmation: “I always look for the best in others & speak highly of them.” With this statement, you are reinforcing the positive habit that you want to create & confirming that you ARE that type of person.
Find ways to constantly remind yourself of the new habit you are creating.
EXAMPLE: Write your affirmation on notecards & put them in places where you’ll see them every day…every time you see one STOP, & repeat your affirmation(s) 3x (while smiling, no eye-rolling allowed!). Also, it helps to spend time visualizing the new habit…the best times are first thing in the morning & last thing at night (you can even do this in bed before you get up & before you fall asleep).
This will help you “work through” the emotions that will almost always arise when you are working on changing & improving yourself. It will also give you perspective & help you to decipher truth from lies.
EXAMPLE: Here’s an idea of what you might write in your journal: Today I felt like giving up. I kept hearing these words over & over again in my mind: “No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough. Who are you kidding? You’ve been this way your whole life…you’ll never change.” When you get it out of your head & onto paper, you can see the LIE for what it really is (it’s that little devil sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear). Next to those thoughts, write in BIG letters… THIS IS A LIE! Then, beneath that, write the TRUTH, starting with: “I am a child of God, therefore…” (you’ll be able to fill in the rest & it will be a personal revelation to you about who you REALLY are & what you’re REALLY capable of & how God REALLY feels about you). Also, be sure to record your victories! For example: “Today, my friends started to gossip & immediately I thought of some good things to say! It was a breakthrough for me! I’m so proud of myself & the progress that I am making.”
Take one habit that you want to change & turn it into a personal “30 Day Challenge”! Go back & read about the NASA experiment I talked about on Day One & remind yourself of the power of doing something for 30 days IN A ROW. This will also help you feel better when you are struggling because things are never easy before they become habits. And remember, change doesn’t come from being “perfect” the first time you try. It comes from never giving up on yourself & trying over & over again until the victory is won.