With every breath, we begin again. We take new life in and breathe the old stuff out. Cells in your body are dying and being replaced all the time. Your brain even has the ability to restructure itself after training or practice.
How often do you consciously use the opportunity to begin again as part of mastering your well-being?
In my work, essentially I help people make habit changes toward improving their well-being. One quality that contributes to making such changes is when clients bring the right mindset to the table. In many ways, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done up until now: deciding to make a change and committing to it is what counts. You begin to put that commitment into action by intentionally and routinely taking purposeful steps: some big and some small.
What’s the right mindset? One of growth and learning. Be open to learning new information, new ways of doing things, taking on new perspectives, discovering or re-discovering aspects of yourself. A willingness to adapt and grow. Alternatively, a more fixed mindset will keep you stuck in the same old same old, and ultimately limit you. A wonderful book that explores this topic in detail is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck.
Besides bringing a commitment to change and a growth mindset toward making change, adding self-compassion to the mix helps you stay on track. Invariably, stuff happens, life happens. You may encounter challenges or roadblocks as you move forward, which impact your ability to stay committed or get back on the horse when you fall off or fall short of your intended goals. There are a variety of ways to give yourself compassion. Start by treating yourself as you would your best friend. Maintain a healthy sense of humor. Perform Metta Meditation (otherwise know as compassion meditation or loving kindness meditation).
Never done any of this before, or maybe you’ve intermittently or inconsistently dabbled in one of these areas? Doesn’t matter. That’s the beauty of a clean slate. You can begin again. Each day, each minute, you have that opportunity to hit the restart button. As you begin again, consider why now? Why will things be different this time? What will you put in place to support you and keep you on track? What will you not allow to pull you off course and what will be your strategy for handling that situation, should it come up again?
I’ve personally found it helps to start with (1) identifying practices that create the best environment for you to stay on track, and then (2) commit to a certain number of days to perform those practices. For me, it’s getting up between 6 and 7 am every day (after getting 7-8 hours of sleep), having breakfast, and then journal for 3 pages. That combination of practices grounds me and focuses me for the day. I had fallen out of practice on the rising time and journaling, so a couple months ago, I recommitted to doing these practices for 30 consecutive days. Today marks day 51. During that time, I’ve accomplished more in my business (in fact, I start a new part-time health coaching job next week), have been more consistently going to the gym, and am ultimately getting the important stuff done. Another work-related item I completed earlier this month: updating my website’s language to more accurately reflect the work I do and for whom. I invite you to visit at www.prioritywellness.com.
If you’ve put off doing something important to your health and well-being, I encourage you to put a stake in the ground, and re-commit to your wellness. You can run your life in a way that allows you to have a life, and a healthy one, at that. Begin with a clean slate, identify your supporting practices, declare the number of consecutive days you will use them, and move forward.