“The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.” said someone.
If you want to change your life.. change your habits. But you already know that.
Since you already know that, the bigger question is … why aren’t you doing it?
Habits come in many forms including what we eat, what we say, what we do, how we organize our lives, set priorities, etc… However, the most powerful habit we engage in is our thinking. Our thinking shapes our world and our thinking is based on …. Drum roll… what we focus on.
I know. I know. You’re thinking “There goes Kristin with that focus mambo jumbo again.”
Stay with me. This is a good one.
When we focus on the same things we get the same results. Duh. But let’s break it down.
Let’s say that your in-laws have a habit of staying with you every weekend and you have a habit of playing the role of nice host and then complaining. You know they will arrive on your doorstep next weekend and the whole pattern will repeat itself so you decide to begin complaining early to get a head start. This is not a healthy pattern and it is not serving you. However, that is solely because of the focus.
You have many options for focus here:
Option 1: Lay out the welcome mat and embrace every moment with your in-laws as a valuable gift. Thank them for coming and tell them how happy you are to see them. Here you focus on how much you enjoy them and how lucky you are to be part of such a great family.
Option 2: Set some boundaries about their visits. Say, “Hey, love you all. If you want to visit, we have these weekends open and you are welcome to come.” Here you focus on what works for you. Taking care of yourself and your personal space means that everyone is happier.
Option 3: Blow up at them, or more than likely your spouse, when they arrive because you are irritated at how inconsiderate their behavior it. Here you focus on what you don’t like. They are taking advantage of your generosity and very inconsiderate of your personal space.
None of these options are wrong and all are understandable. However, how you feel is dependent on what you chose to focus on so how do you want to feel? Your focus is a pattern; it is your most powerful habit. What you look for you will find in any given situation because your life is basically a Rorschach of what you want to see. Mic drop.
Daylight Savings Time is happening today and we will Spring forward and lose an hour in the day. Billions of people around the world are going to have one of their most fundamental habits disrupted and there will be loud complaints around the coffee pot the next day. Children, old people, your partner, you – everyone will be off kilter for a couple days. Yet by the end of the week, there will be a new normal established and a new habit will be in place and no one will give it a second thought.
Let’s play around with this:
What if you decided to wake up an hour earlier to exercise? Would it be as easy for you to change when you woke up for this reason?
It is the same action. You are starting a new habit in both situations.
Some habits such as brushing our teeth serve us well. Other habits such as focusing on our personal shortcomings do not.
Politics aside, I think Donald Trump has amazing self-talk which is why, in my opinion, he has been so successful in so many areas. If you spoke to yourself the same way he talks to himself how much would the voice inside your head change? Seriously. Think about it.
I’m not suggesting to take on his personality or character. They belong to him the same way yours belong to you.
However, just try on the habit of telling yourself how awesome you are for a few days. I’m not joking. Try starting each day with self-talk about what a HUGE day you’re are going to have and all the great things that are going to happen. Talk to yourself about how much people love you including those who don’t know you yet. Using your own definition of success, rewrite your personal narrative so that in your mind, you are the most successful person in the world! Spend time thinking about how people are excited to work with you because you are so great at what you do.
Depression and anxiety are rampant in the US. When I was in graduate school we learned how shock treatments , used to treat severe depression, wipe out the memory of entire years of a person’s life.
I was appalled.
I told my Great Uncle Gene, who was a salty WWII Navy doctor who went from practicing family medicine to psychiatry because he thought the mind was where disease started, my educated feelings about shock therapy. He cocked a partial smile and said, “Kristin, no one has ever come to see me because of what they can’t remember.” Point taken.
No one who truly believes they are ruling their own amazing world full of abundant opportunities is depressed. Nope. They feel pretty good about things because their focus is on their amazing future.
The world needs more empowered people who make a habit of believing in themselves.
Try this new habit one for size:
Make a habit of focusing on the amazing possibilities that are coming up for you and how great you will be at making things happen.
Change your habit. Change your life.