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Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you make a change to your current lifestyle? You begin to get adequate amounts of sleep, eat healthy, choose nutritious meals, and incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine. Well, now is your chance to take the plunge. Let’s learn how to make a change of habits and beliefs.
How to Make a Change of Habits?
In psychology, the theory of Narrative Identity suggests that as human beings, we form a life story (a narrative) to make sense of what we experience. In order to change any habit, you must first explore your narratives of the past behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Your inner narratives hold the key to how to make a change of habits. Inner narratives consist of:
- Reconstructed past
- Perceived present
- Imagined future
How you construct your narrative strongly affects your personal well-being. Rewriting your script is super important. Your pathway to a better life fully depends on how you view your past, present and future. Do you ever question your reasons for wanting change?
Changing Your Narrative is Important?
Often we remind ourselves that we are incapable of certain things. Next thing you know, we get trapped in a holding pattern. We become doubtful. These negative thoughts keeps you from achieving your goals. In fact, they lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy. Everyone is fighting their own battle in some form or fashion. However, it’s HOW you choose to handle the battle that determines how to change your life around. Tony Robbins is the mastermind of changing behavior
Tony Robbins – The Guru of Change
According to Tony Robbins, if you want to learn how to change yourself, you must see things with fresh eyes; see things as they really are. Even if you pretend they aren’t there, problems will always be lurking around the corner. He suggests that if you finally choose to face your challenges head on, they will eventually go away. So, let’s start by exploring those pesky limiting beliefs.
The marketing expert Simon Sinek explains how changing your narrative has the power to change your life. He tells about an interaction with a homeless woman. Sinek helped her increase her daily income just by changing the wording on her sign. As a result, his subject earned in only two hours what she normally made in a whole day.
Rather than working the rest of the day at her new higher wage, she packed up her belongings after two hours because she believed she had met her daily quota.
Does your narrative insist that you can’t make more than “$70,000 per year? This is known as limiting beliefs. These beliefs hold you back and make it difficult to envision a future different than the past. You put unconscious barriers in your way to prevent you from reaching your highest potential.
Simon Sinek suggests adding “yet” to the end of any such limiting beliefs. In his video he uses the example, “I am not famous – yet.” All of a sudden, the possibilities for your life become endless. The first step is to identify your limiting beliefs.
Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
Once you identify and examine your negative habits, you will create better ones that help you rewrite your story. Maybe you are a night owl and are lacking sleep. Take note of these patterns and make a change. Are you craving ice cream and Oreo cookies at midnight and wonder why your jeans don’t zip up? It’s time for introspection.
Introspection and Self-Reflection
Take a good look at your lifestyle and put it under the microscope. Get serious and get yourself a journal and start writing. Sit down and make a list of the strengths and weaknesses and make incremental subtle changes in your life. Give yourself time to strategize for the first two weeks. Then make a point to set up realistic goals.
Set Realistic, Attainable Goals
It is vitally important to focus on realistic self-reflection throughout your journey, and when needed, ask those you trust for perspective (Tony Robbins). Never bite off more than you can chew. Keep it real. Aiming too high leads to non-productivity. Break your goals down into mini tasks. Look at your them and ask yourself “What needs to happen in order for me to reach my goals. How do I break my goals into small bites?
Take Small Incremental Steps
First, write down your tasks and prioritize them. Give yourself time to make the adjustment? Start with the easier tasks first. Try going to bed earlier. Give yourself some wiggle room. Second, give your tasks a test drive. Test drive these tasks for one day and then increase them to a week, two weeks, etc., when you feel comfortable.
Make a note of how you feel and what changes are taking place in your body. By the third week, you will see things differently if you stick to a change plan. As you meet each goal, cross it off your list. Remember, change is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The best way to tackle goals is to incorporate the SMART goals model.
The SMART model allows you to set up both your short and long-term goals using the SMART acronym:
- Specific: The more specific you are, the clearer your steps will be to get there.
- Measurable: How are you going to track your improvements and success?
- Achievable: Create a plan. Dreams become goals when there are plans attached to it.
- —Relevant: Be sure your goal is still something you want to work on.
- Time-Bound: Know how much time you need to accomplish your goal.
Make sure you understand why your goals are important. Review them on a daily and weekly basis. The next step is to be mindful of your environment.
Be Mindful of Your Environment
None of us can honestly say that we live in a perfect world. Therefore, we must adapt to our environment. Oftentimes, the home environment is deemed toxic, unfortunately. All things considered, try to recognize as many positive things as possible. Gratitude goes a long way. If possible, try to connect with other like-minded people in your community. Seek out friends who add value to your life and avoid people who always find fault and put you down. Avoid negative associations. altogether.
Avoid Negativity and Toxic Relationships
Negativity will tarnish your progress and impede your growth. Why not become a role model for your nuclear family and seek out their support. Based on environmental factors, not everyone adapts to change in the same way. Remember that setbacks are a part of the change process. They will help strengthen and sustain your new lifestyle.
Expect Setbacks -and Keep Going Any Ways
Life is unpredictable at times. You must accept the fact that there will challenges ahead. Be prepared and embrace the bumps and hurdles. Learn to build your inner strength. Do this by staying on the top of your game. Self-care is key.
Make self-care a priority. However, first and foremost, do what you have to do to optimize your health. Stay connected with your primary health care team. Connect with other groups in the community on the same pathway. Now is the time to invest in you. It is time to write your new script. Your new mindset has arrived.
With a new lifestyle change comes a mindset change. Take a look at the Four Agreements and tell me what you think. Do you agree or not? In the great scheme of things, I belief you will find them simplistic but useful. The Four Agreements are the cornerstones of life.
The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Certain concepts in the book originate from ancient Toltec wisdom. Toltecs are a Mesoamerican culture from Hildalgo, Mexico. The deep, spiritual knowledge of the Toltecs continues to be a powerful way to overcome limiting beliefs and suffering today. These agreements help you keep your goals on track.
First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Mind
Words are powerful. Do not use them against yourself, by telling yourself stories that don’t serve you (like ‘I’m not worthy, I am ugly’) Use them to speak from a place of love to others and especially yourself. This is how you communicate your intentions and create the life story you want to live. The second agreements is a gem.
Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
This one is a lot to take in. The reality is that nothing anyone ever says or does is because of you, or about you. It is always about themselves. Consequently, everything you say or do, is an expression of yourself. Here is a case in point.
Case in point:
Somebody upsets you and triggers you with their words. Are they to blame for your hurt feelings? Actually, no. You are responsible for your reaction because there is a part within you that has not found peace yet. Therefore, know your trigger points.
You can only be triggered if a part deep within you believes what is being thrown at you. The reason why you were attacked by this person is that some part of them is dissatisfied, unbalanced, afraid, and insecure. Their meanness has nothing to do with you, per se. They are mean because they haven’t dealt with something within themselves. The take home is as follows:
- Never take things personally. It is not about you. We all walk in our own path.
- Don’t focus on what you can’t control (other people’s realities). Instead, focus on what you can control (your own reaction and perception). Your life lies in your hands. Use this knowledge wisely. Next, is agreement number three.
Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
Making assumptions is one of the most dangerous things we do to ourselves. How often do you think you know something without actually knowing? Consider the next case in point.
Case in Point:
Imagine your significant other went to visit a friend who just returned from the military. While he was away you prepared an amazing 5 course dinner with all the trimmings. Beautiful centerpieces of fresh flowers, candles, eloquent placemats, etc. He calls you to say he’ll be late. Then you jump from appetizers to assumptions.
From Appetizers to Assumptions
You decide to go all out – dressed-up to the nines, just had your hair and nails done earlier. Your goal is to surprise and impress the love of your life. Now your thoughts are racing. Automatically you switch into assumption mode. Thoughts fly overhead “He doesn’t care about me,” “does he have someone else.” He’s having an affair.” You reach a conclusion.
Jumping the Gun
Sometimes you jump to conclusions. You never considered that your mate got caught in traffic, or maybe he had to run to get groceries for his friend whose car was in the repair shop. Runaway assumptions lead to anxiety and stress unnecessarily. Before you make assumptions, keep an open mind, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Ask for the truth.
Ask for the Truth
There’s a simple trick to use when you’re not sure about something someone else is doing. Simply ask for the truth. Ask why they were late for dinner before going into attack mode. This gives you mutual space to express your honest feelings, without spiraling out of control. Your love interest did not intend to hurt your feelings. The act of asking is so simple even though it requires courage. It spares you a lot of emotional drama. Never underestimate the fourth agreement. to do your best.
Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
If you feel like what you are doing is not enough, there is a simple anecdote to enact. Always do your best. That’s it in a nutshell. Tony Robin says it best:
Tony Robbins Quote
“We can change our lives. We can Do, Have, and Be exactly what we wish.”
As Tony Robbins reminds us, “Achieving goals, in and of itself, won’t make us happy in the long term. It’s who we become, as we overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve our goals, that gives us the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” Are you ready to unleash the power within and set your soul free?
Making a lifestyle change takes a combination of things – dismantling the inner limiting beliefs, sacrificing old habits, introspection, self-reflection, connection with like-minded people and more. However, it is all worth it in the end. Changing from unhealthy to healthy lifestyle habits is a game-changer and many people make that change by taking a leap of faith.