Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Change Doesn't Happen Over Night

When I learn something new or decide I want to make a change in my life, historically I expected it to happen over night. I used to believe, that if I decided I wanted to start thinking about something in a different way that I would just wake up and my thinking would be magically shifted. Then if it wasn't, I would beat myself up over it and think that I wasn't actually making that positive change.
Let me give you an example. About a year ago I decided that I wanted to work on the amount of complaining I do. Pretty much at the start I wanted to stop complaining completely. The day I decided this, I didn't complain at all. But later on that week I found myself getting caught up in a little complaining. Wait a minute, I have decided to stop complaining. So why am I complaining. 

When we are used to doing something in a certain way it isn't easy for us to find a new way. It takes work, it takes time, and we should be gentle with ourselves as we are making that transition. Just as it takes time to form a habit, it takes time to break a habit.

I have recently started a morning meditation practice. After a few weeks of getting up and doing it consistently I had noticed a few changes in me, mainly in the way I could remain calm when faced with a tough situation. This time, instead of tapping my foot incessantly, waiting for the change to occur, I relaxed into the transition and let me meditation practice flow throughout my life. 

There are times when a change we want to make in ourselves is difficult, like me with complaining. Other times it comes quite easily. 

Here are some tips for making a change:
1. Decide you want to make the change. Whether it be quitting something, starting something, or just changing your way of thinking or frame of mind. Figuring out you want the change to happen is really the first step. 
2. Get started. Try to make your change a part of your daily routine, you'll notice over time it becomes habit. 
3. Be mindful. Keep the change you are making in mind. Notice when you are doing it, or are not doing it. Notice how that feels. 
4. Be gentle with yourself if you slip. Like me if you are wanting to quit complaining, understand that not all of it can go away. Maybe designate only a few minutes per day to complain just to get it out. Or maybe write it in a journal and not actually vocalize it. 
5. Realize the benefits you will gain. If complaining is something you want to decrease notice your increase in positivity.