What does it take to make lasting changes to your habits?

Making changes is not simply about will power or discipline. But instead a shift in your beliefs about who you think you are. 

As author and “habit-change guru” James Clear says:

“Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity. What you do now is a reflection of the type of person that you believe that you are (either consciously or subconsciously). To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself.”

For some of us, the idea of changing our beliefs or identity can feel anywhere from a little edgy to totally terrifying. To some extent, this is normal. We have a function in the mind (the ego) whose job is to try and keep us the same—even if we are miserable. For the ego, old and familiar is better than change. 

That’s why it’s so important, as a first step to creating real changes in your life, to learn how to work with the ego. Otherwise, we allow ourselves, and our lives, to be led by the smallness of the ego. We get stuck in its stories and beliefs and forget that we are SO much more than the ego. 

As part of getting unstuck from these stories, we want to dream, and dream big. As James Clear indicates, “you need to start believing new things about yourself.”

So I want to invite you to dream up: What new things do you want to believe about yourself?

I’m giving you full permission to fantasize here. Any holding back you do in your dreams, means the ego is still involved. Free write about this and see what you come up with.

For pragmatists, this may be a difficult exercise that seems futile. ‘Why dream about something you can’t be?’

But I would argue that only when you allow yourself to dream, could you begin to see the possibilities of how to make it a reality.

What are you dreaming for yourself? What behaviors do you want to change? And what do you need to start believing about yourself to become more of who you are?

If you’re having a hard time connecting to your dreams–it’s not uncommon. We often get ver disconnected from our deeper desires, especially if we are caretakers of any sort. If you’d like to have a complimentary session with me to discover your desires, let’s chat.

The Key to Starting Any New Habit

I’ve been speaking with a number of my workshop attendees–can you guess what I hear about the most in these conversations?

1. I know the habits I have are not great.

AND

2. I want to change those habits, be healthier but I don’t know where to begin

OR

3. I’ve tried making some changes, and it works for a while but then I get thrown off track and struggle to get back to those bad habits.

Change is rarely easy. We’re often working against some deeply rooted patterns. But it’s not impossible to change those patterns.

Today I’m sharing my top tip for getting started on creating a new habit:

GET CLEAR ON WHY YOU’RE DOING IT. 
The first step I take with any client is clarifying why they want to make changes. Understanding what’s sparking this desire to change will keep you anchored to your motivation. It will help you get through the tough times on your journey and remind you why you started in the first place.

And we gotta go deep here. No one wants to lose weight simply because they want to fit in their pants. So it’s important to keep asking yourself “why” in order to get to your deeper desire. For instance, ask yourself: Why do I want to fit in my pants? Why is that important?

And whatever your response is to that question, ask again–well why is that important? I recommend asking yourself “why is that important” about 9 times.

There is always a much deeper reason underlying your desire to change that you may not have admitted to yourself before. Find out what it is. 

TIPS: As you ask yourself why, get out of your head. You’ll never find the answers there anyway. See if your responses can come from the heart or the belly. Allow the deeper desire to emerge from your whole self. Try not to edit what comes up. You may want to “free write” or talk into a recorder without worrying about anyone (especially you!) judging what comes out. 

Once you’ve got your BIG why answer, write it down. 

How powerful can this be? As an example, that client who thought she wanted to lose weight to fit in her pants? She made another discovery. What she really wanted, was to lose weight because she wanted to have more energy to spend time/play with her kids, and to show them that they can do things they set their minds to.

A little more powerful than pants right? And by the way, she’s lost almost 30 pounds.