Good Thursday morning. How are your habits going so far? In this week’s theme of habits, one of the key things is use of our minds to change our habits. I have told my story many times about how I decided to change my mind. I wanted to get past something so I used the power of the mind to change myself. Many times I have talked about the beautiful mind, how I use my mind to control things instead of taking a medication.
So how do we use our minds to change our habits? Well before we can use the mind, first we must remove all the temptations. Once you have the temptations to go back on the new habit removed, you get your mind ready to handle the tough stuff.
There are two ideas we use to get the mind ready and they both are needed to get your mind to establish your new habits.
1. Meditation. You have to use the mind to focus on what it is you are going to change. If you are trying to remove a bad habit, picture yourself in your mind about to partake in the bad habit, then in your mind stop yourself; tell yourself you are not going to do that. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, close your eyes and see yourself about to light the cigarette. Picture yourself stopping and telling yourself that you don’t smoke. If you are trying form a good habit then you must close your eyes and picture yourself doing that very habit. Let’s say you want to start getting up 45 minutes earlier each morning so you can read the newspaper before heading to the office. Then each night before your go to bed close your eyes and picture yourself waking up with the alarm. Then see yourself being tempted to stay in bed but getting up anyway. This is the way to visualize what you want and picturing the outcome you want.
2. Affirmations. This is the other side of the coin. Now you have to focus on your positive changes. Affirmations are phrases that you use to give your mind a positive direction. Imagine if you were to take the exercise above, trying to form a habit of waking up earlier each day. You would picture it as mentioned above, but along with dealing with the temptation to snuggle back under the covers instead of waking with the alarm, you also include a saying like “I always wake up at 7 am to greet my day. I never need an alarm clock since I love mornings so much. I’m looking forward to what I will do with my extra time.” Habits are the things that change us, but you must condition your mind to get you into the habits that will bring you the success that you want in your life.
Take these ideas and take control of your mind. When people ask me how I do what I do, one of the key things I tell them is I take control of my mind. If I can tell my mind to do something, the rest is a downhill venture. I hope this week not only helps you to get rid of those bad habits but take control of your mind and create some good habits that bring you success in 2012.