Helpful Reminders For Making New Habbits Stick

I was reorganizing my office at work, and in the back of a desk drawer, I found a folded up piece of paper with eight lines of print on it.  This is what it said:

It’s on my plan, I gotta do it.

Past Me said to do it, and Future Me will thank me, so let’s do it.

Once I start, I’ll be glad I did.  All I have to do is take the first small step.

I don’t need to decide on this, or think about it.  It’s already decided.

This is a compassionate act for myself, an act of love.  Lets get to the loving.

I am doing this for others, to set an example for others, to make the world better.

Yes, “Just this once” does hurt.  Let’s not fall for our old thinking traps.

It’s time, let’s get to work like a pro.

This was taken from a post on Zen Habits called What You Can Say Instead of “I Don’t Feel Like It.”

It was from a time when I was trying to make some serious habit changes.  (eating healthy, staying off of social media, getting organized, meditating, not losing my temper, among other things) and I had printed it off as a reminder to myself.  If I remember correctly, this list helped me to maintain an upward trend for quite some time.  It is amazing what a little bit of positive thinking can do.

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Why You Should Have Unimpressive Goals

Last week, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to help others, I would have to Help Myself First.  The plan was to create some new good habits, and to quit the old bad habits.  Sounds like a good idea.  Well, I was trolling my old blog, and found that I had come to the same realization just six short months ago.  I made a plan of action, which involved meditating, exercising, and free-writing for 10 minutes a day each, and let me tell you it was not successful.

What Went Wrong?

So, why did I fail?

  • The changes were too big
  • I took on too many habits at once
  • I didn’t commit to a certain time of day
  • I had no accountability
  • I did not have any reminders or habit triggers

So this time, I am committing to exercise vigorously for 2 minutes upon rising in the morning.  I will also be placing a little sign that says “Exercise” on the bathroom mirror (one of the first places I look in the morning).

It may seem unimpressive, but I would rather have a one humble goal that I can achieve than a hundred impressive goal that I will never accomplish.

(From “Do You Believe That?” on 4-10-14)

I have been reflecting lately, on the purpose and meaning in life. I have found that, no matter what you believe, the ultimate calling on our lives is to help others. There is nothing more fulfilling than positively impacting the life of another human. to give them something that they could not have attained on their own.

However, in order to effectively help others, I must first help myself. If my life is a wreck, and I have no direction, and no clue how to handle my own situations, how can I ever hope to benefit another person.  But how do I help myself?  I would say, the first step is to learn about myself.  In doing this, I will be learning about all human life, as we share the same desires, the same fears, the same ambitions, and the same needs.

In an effort to accomplish this, I have started three new habits: Meditation, Free-Writing, and Exercise. I plan to do each of these every day for 10 minutes a day, for at least the next month.

Meditation:

In our fast paced society, we do not often take time to sit quietly with ourselves, and just observe our own thoughts.  There is always something flashing, making noise, moving around.  We live in a world of constant distraction, and do not get the opportunity to just be.  Meditation is a great opportunity allow the world to simply turn underneath us, with no worries, being confident that, at least for now, the earth will take care of itself.

When I meditate, I do worry about perfect posture.  I simply sit in a relaxed position, and focus on my breathing.  I do not worry about emptying my mind.  If a thought enters my mind, I acknowledge it, let it go, and go back to my breathing.

Free Writing

I have found this to be very relaxing, and a big stress-reliever.  It releases any thoughts that have been weighing on my mind, and helps me to expound on ideas for projects and articles.  I hope this will help me to be able to express myself more freely and easily when I write, as well as helping me to learn more about who I am.

Exercise

In my search for self-awareness, I not only want to become more familiar with my mind, but also my body.  Exercising regularly will help build discipline, and help me to be aware of my physical body.  I have not started this habit yet, but when I do, I plan to keep it simple.  Running, walking, yoga, anything that will get me moving, and increase my physical self awareness.

Thanks for reading, folks.

How To Be Human

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Yesterday’s Post outlined my plan to focus on my own continued improvement.  The meat of the plan had to do with changing habits, removing the bad, and adding the good.  However, this is not something that I have done well with in the past.  I often set out to make changes, and start strong, but soon my will power runs out, and I am left in a far worse position than where I started.

Coincidentally, a friend shared with me yesterday a website that he has created called How To Be Human,  Which he described as “a self-help site that will deliver therapy-grade psychoeducation accessible to everyone.”  As a good friend would, I immediately clicked on the link to check out his creation, and it absolutely blew me away.

I have been on a mission to resolve my personal struggles. To live free of anxiety, depression, self doubt, shame and regret, to connect with those I care for, to live in the present moment, to feel and enjoy it, to think clearly, to sleep easily and fitfully, to breathe, to find balance in what I eat, to be comfortable in my own skin whatever that looked like, to not fear being confused and vulnerable, to be warm and caring, to be authentic to myself and others, to find joy, meaning and harmony in how I live, to love, to be happy.

Every step of the way I wondered “what’s the link? How do all these diverse goals hang together? There has to be a simple answer.” This series is that simple answer. It is all part of being human. I have spent the last nine years learning something I didn’t ever expect I’d need to learn, how to be human.

The Series has 11 modules, the first of which is called CHANGE.  The CHANGE module explains our ability to re-program our brains through learning, solution shaping, and enacting change.  It also covers factors that may derail attempts to change, and those that help to facilitate change.

That just so happened to be exactly what I needed, and It has given me a little extra guidance as I begin (once again) my journey to make the most out of life on this planet.

How To Be Human is written with a very easy to read style, while still being extremely informative and educational.  I can’t recommend this series highly enough, and I look forward to reading the second module MONITOR AND MOVE which is scheduled to be released on October 14th, 2014.

Thanks for reading folks.