At the end of last year (2017) I offered you a deep reflection tool that allowed you to recognize the changes in behaviors you were able to make that year...
And in recognizing those changes in behaviors, I hope you were able to see those as a major step forward. If you haven’t done that exercise, I suggest giving it a try before doing this year’s activity. Because you might be surprised by how much growth you’ve been able to accomplish with just behavioral shifts! You can do last year’s activity by reading about it here. It includes some downloadable worksheets too!
Now, to take your reflection even deeper towards
transformation, this year’s tool will help you understand your mindset. I can talk actions all day long and you can engage with actions that change the way you do things, but if you’re mindset, or beliefs around those actions aren’t aligned, you’ll often find yourself reverting back to your old ways.
Take this upcoming “New Years Resolutions” season where we typically see folks committing to “a better diet”, “more exercise”, or some other form of better living. When the enthusiasm and stamina around that change wears off, say around February or March, excuses start to take over. Without a strong mindset aligned with that change, belief systems from other people, societal norms, or just those stories you developed on your own can take over a derail your plans. The madness sets in.
So, as a way to make your shift a holistic and solid one, we’re going to focus this year on shifting from this madness of varying beliefs in your head to developing a strong mindset that sets you up for making an actual change that is aligned and long lasting.
So what does a successful shift from madness to mindset look like?
Simply put, these 5 steps can help you put some back into it! Below I give you some examples to help jumpstart your reflection and I also encourage you to download this worksheet and FULLY engage with the activity.
Name what you want to change. Bottom line it.
In 2019 I want to change the way I eat to have a more plant-based diet
What are your beliefs (madness) around that shift? For instance, what goes on in your head when you think about making this change in your life?
a. Plant based diets are healthier and will help me lose weight
b. It takes too much time to prep food for a more plant based diet and I’ too busy
Where did they come from? You, someone else, societal norms, etc…?
a. I see it all the time in the media, a couple of people in my community swear by the a plant-based diet reversing chronic illness and other things, and ever since I started eating more plant based foods I feel better about my overall body
b. I grew up with fast food and TV dinners, so making food from scratch is too time consuming and I’m a really busy person
Determine which of those beliefs serve to your benefit versus ones that result in preventing you from making a successful, long term shift. Can you add an action to take to make that change?
Mindset - I see it all the time in the media, a couple of people in my community swear by the vegan diet reversing chronic illness, and ever since I started eating more plant based foods I feel better about my overall body.
Action - 3 out of 7 days in a week will be a plant-based lunch
Bottom line your mindset in a statement. This is the part that shifts from madness your mindset. Affirm it and ritualize it into an affirmation or reminder to yourself, especially when you have the urge to revert back to old habits. Write or draw this statement out and put it on display in a sacred place in your home so you can see it and recite it at least once a day. Do this for at least 21 days!
a. I make time to have more plant-based foods in my diet because it supports my overall health
Keep yourself accountable by looking back every week and tell someone.
How many times were you able to implement the change?
How many times were you able to state your mantra (mindset) to yourself?
Celebrate the wins and when you’ve been consistent in using this mantra and don’t be hard on yourself if it’s not perfect! Your mind is, after all, conditioning itself to a new norm! But also don’t have a gallon of ice cream, instead, share with someone who supports you that you reached your weekly goal!
Tip: If you’re not consistent, next week, customize the action so that it fits better into your unique life and try again. It’s all good as long as you don’t quit all together!
Finally, its always a good idea to have at least one “transformational buddy”; someone who can witness your change and cheer you on! I personally would shamelessly plug that hiring a coach is the ultimate game changer! But if you’re not yet ready for that type of investment, I’ll leave you with some final tips to identify who that buddy can be:
Someone you trust and has been a natural and true champion of you all along
A person who can keep their personal agenda out of your goals and be an active listener
Someone who can empathize, not sympathize with you
Good luck in the next year of change towards your best life!