Take Time to be Alone

dream-written-in-sand

Take time to be alone more often than you think you need to.

One of the prime triggers in engaging in a bad habit is looking for a way to give to yourself, especially if you’ve been very busy and overwhelmed.  When we don’t take time for ourselves, we end up “rewarding” ourselves with our habits. It’s a way of taking care of ourselves in the moment, but it doesn’t feel so great when we’re done.

If you want to improve the chances you’ll stay on program and you won’t suffer from a “guilt dessert,” take a few minutes to be alone every day; long enough to decompress.

It doesn’t have to be very long, just long enough to get yourself centered.

By the way, “alone” is not “lonely” – unless you choose to make it so.

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The Road from “Never” to “Now”

never-land-&-now-road

Changing a bad habit can be messy, frustrating, and unpleasant.

After all, if it was easy, we’d all be dropping bad habits willy-nilly, wouldn’t we?

It becomes easier if, instead of looking at it like, “One moment I’m here. The next minute I have to be all the way over there,” we understand it more as a series of stages.

I’ll assume one has left the initial stage of denial, and decided to — for example — lose a few pounds; accepting that either forever gaining weight or making a change are his only options.

He lands firmly in stage one: “Never.”

Here thoughts and feelings are extremely negative, perception being an excessive, laborious amount of work and discomfort for what appears to be a pipe dream result. Internal dialog is, “I will never be able to do that” with the obvious coda being, “…so why bother to try?”

In our example, the thought of sweaty, painful exercise; a starvation-level diet; anal-retentive tracking of calories; tasteless recipes; extensive shopping pattern adjustments; and – in general – being forever, always, never-ending conscious; triggers our synapses to scream, “No way! Can’t be done, ain’t gonna happen.” Crossing our arms, scowling, and firmly planting our feet, we refuse to budge.

Or so we think.

You see; the problem is that once consciousness has been raised it cannot never again be buried.

[Read more...]

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Remember What Matters

man with babyMake sure your priorities stay top-of-mind.

Not everything is equally important.

One of the main reasons we don’t move forward is we forget that we cannot do everything all the time. We stress ourselves out thinking of how much we have to do. We then get overloaded and shut down.

Take time to remember what really matters by using the “Five Year Rule.”

As yourself if anyone will really know or care about this event five years from now.

  • If the answer is “No,” let it go. Get to it when you can – if you want to.
  • If the answer is “Yes,” it’s important. Take care of it as soon as you can. Then take a moment for yourself.

Do not mistake activity for accomplishment.

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Look Backwards for Motivation

road-sign-with-question-markIf you wish to be inspired, it makes more sense to look backwards, rather than forwards.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the road ahead looks daunting and intimidating; it seems to go on forever.

However, if you change your view and look at how far you’ve come, you’ll notice the changes you’ve already made, inspiring you to stay the course.

Give yourself credit for the road already traveled, take a deep breath, congratulate yourself for your accomplishments, and then – and only then – face forward and take one more step boldly towards your goal.

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Creatures of Habit

Have you ever really truly analyzed how much of what we do is by rote?

habit-creature

Paying for groceries, the clerk asks,
“How are you?”

Our expected reply, stated without thought:
“Fine, how are you?”

Continuing the script she responds, “Great,” and upon finishing the transaction, adds the obligatory, “Have a nice day.”

Did she really care?

Should we opt to spill our guts about the problems we’re having with aging, would she request the other shoppers stand elsewhere while she counseled, consoled, and cajoled us? Survey says: Not a chance. The brief exchange near the cash register is a pre-ordained, almost-required, nicety; it’s just “what we do.”

That just scratches the surface; dig deeper and discover how much of our lives are run by autopilot.

Picture a typical weekday; we either arise with the help of an alarm — that pushes us to consciousness at the exact same moment as every other weekday — or we don’t use one at all. Upon rising, patterns control everything from the order of our morning constitutional to the clothes we choose. We are either “breakfast eaters” — or not. It’s not “I am” one day and “I’m not” the next. The average grocery store stocks over 40,000 items; yet even those of us who opt for breakfast choose from fewer than a handful of items every morning, the same selections we had yesterday and will eat tomorrow.

[Read more...]

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