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New Year, New You

=== Part 3

This week, we’ll take the first step toward making your dream a reality.

Everything you create in your life is a result of the actions you take on a daily basis. In other words, your habits quite literally shape your life.

A habit is a conditioned pattern of behavior. In many instances habits become conditioned to the point of automation. Under these circumstances, it’s not uncommon for you to engage in habituated behavior without even thinking about what you’re doing. You undoubtedly have many common habits in your life, such as drinking coffee with the morning paper, walking the dog, or unwinding with the television at night.

Habits can be empowering, and can serve you in creating circumstances that help you build the life you’ve envisioned. They can also be disempowering, causing you to veer off course from your ideal.

The danger of surrendering to your habits is largely due to the lack of thought that goes into establishing most patterns. When challenged to examine their habits, many of my clients have discovered that they engage in routine behavior as a result of happenstance. Upon close consideration, many have been surprised at the number of behaviors they’ve habituated without any conscious consideration.

Ultimately, your habits either serve you or they don’t. When a habit serves you, it moves you closer to your vision. When it doesn’t, it moves you further away from what you want.

This week, evaluate your habits. Are they taking you closer to the life you’ve envisioned, or are they taking you further away? Next week we’ll talk about the process of changing your habits. For now, your willingness to get clear about where you’re supporting – or stopping – yourself will help you make the life of your dreams a reality.

=== Part 4

Welcome to the week! This month we’ve been talking about reinventing your life. I’ve asked you to evaluate your life(..missed this), consider your dreams(..and this), and analyze your current habits. This week, we’ll end our process by taking a closer look at how you can change habits that don’t serve you.

While I’ve seen many people struggle and fail in their endeavor to change their behavior, I’ve worked with just as many to successfully refine their habits. You can make a change. In fact, you can make many changes, and you can do so painlessly – provided you follow this formula.

Leverage + Environment = Successful Change

Get Leverage
Leverage is the power of influence. The development of your personal leverage will provide you with an enhanced ability to direct your own behavior. Your ability to associate negative consequences with your old behavior and positive consequences to your new behaviors will support you in developing personal leverage.

Your brain is driven to create positive experience. For this reason, when you identify the consequences of your actions, you increase your leverage. You do this by asking yourself two questions. The first is, “What am I losing out on as a result of my current behavior?” The second is “What will I gain when I make this change?

Once you connect with all you have to lose, and all you have to gain, your long term motivation will naturally increase. This will support you in establishing the mindset that’s required to condition any real shifts in behavior.

Set Up Your Environment
Your environment is made up of the surroundings and conditions you operate in. Your success will be much more easily achieved when you set your environment up to support you. You can use two strategies to set yourself up to win.

Anticipate Obstacles
You must identify the specific obstacles that can push you off course once you’ve started down a path of change. What triggers you to engage in your disempowering behavior? Make sure to thoroughly identify any situations or person that could derail your progress.

Once you’ve identified potential obstacles, decide how you’ll address them. For example, if being alone triggers feelings of loneliness, and feeling lonely triggers an eating response, set yourself up to experience fewer “alone” moments. Get more involved in your community, schedule a regular date with a new friend, or volunteer at a local organization.

Make sure that you create fewer opportunities for your triggers to enter your environment, and decide in advance, how you’ll respond to them when they do occur.

Set Up a Support System
Nothing will sabotage your efforts to shift your behavior more conclusively than surrounding yourself with people who don’t support your desire to change. The most difficult course you’ll navigate as you make life improvements will be terminating relationships with people who aren’t equipped to grow with you, and reassuring those who are.

Your relationships have the capacity to tear you down or lift you up. Surrounding yourself with people who support you throughout your growth process is an incredibly powerful way to create a lifestyle that pulls you toward your highest potential. (That’s why The Compass Community is so important!) Surrounding yourself with people who don’t support your growth will almost surely undermine the very change that you’re attempting to make./script>

Take a moment to consider the key people in your life. Are they supportive of the new things you’re learning? Will they support your desire to change your behavior? If they won’t, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your rolodex.

As we close this month, I encourage you to remember that the life of your dreams is possible and within your reach. When you give voice to your dreams by writing them down, you give them potential. When you summon your courage, and take action every day, you give them power. Step into your power this month, and take care of yourself at least as well as you take care of everyone else!

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