We are a drive-through society. We want it fast. Whatever it is. That’s great for convenience and getting more done in a day. But it’s a problem if we want to really, seriously, honest-to-gosh, change a behavior. The reasons is that it takes time to truly change.
I can’t substantiate the exact timeframe. Dr. Sean Sullivan, who I tremendously respect, has built his Mind Mastery program
around 21-days to instill a change. Many advocate 30. On the upper end, you will hear the number 66 or even 90 tossed around.
That’s irrelevant. The point is, if you will consistently do something that you really want to do for 21 days; why not keep doing it for 30. Then 45. Then 60. By then, certainly even for the toughest cases among us, a new habit truly should be formed.
I did this for myself with the grandaddy of them all. Breaking nicotine addiction. For me, the trigger was some dental work I had to have done. Massive reconstruction of the 4 middle upper teeth. Bone graft, gum graft, implants and crowns. Out of pocket, too. I knew enough about smoking to know that one of the effects it has on your body is a substantial decrease in healing from surgery and bone issues. Smoking, in other words, doesn’t help your back pain! There was no way I was going to invest thousands of dollars on some very valuable human real-estate and a few days later, fire up a cigarette and drag chemical-laden smoke right across the fresh stitches. So I had a HUGE incentive to change the behavior. By 25 days, I was free, and have never looked back since.
Now, I virtually live out of a VitaMix
blender, I do Yoga several times a week, and have done a 100-mile bicycle ride. Believe me – if I can do it; you can do it!
The biggest problem is we don’t stick it out long enough when it comes to changing what may appear as less significant things. Reprogramming your subconscious mind is the key to shifting any outcome in your life.
Here are 5 steps to help you pick something and shift it in 30-days. Also, if you’re going to do this, pick one thing to get started. After you get the process down, you can take on more than one shift at a time.
1. Identify - Look across your life and think of the 80/20 rule. There are a few things (20%) that if you changed, would have the biggest impact on your life (80%). Zone in on those, and then pick one you’d like to shift for ever. Write it down.
2. Visualize - Spend some quiet time with your journal. At times like this, I add a Pandora channel like Enya, Loreena McKennitt or Adiemus to the background. Often, there is a cup of hot tea involved, too. Light candles. Get quiet. This is your life! Next, with your journal and your imagination, create what the new scenario looks like and write it down. This gets it captured.
- Create affirmations that move, inspire and light you up. Affirmations are one of the greatest tools to re-program your subconscious mind. In his early days before he was Anthony Robbins, the long-haired California teenager seminar peddler would shout affirmations to himself about “Avalanches of Abundance”
while driving to appointments. Louise Hay defeated cancer through affirmations. Some of my favorites come from the collection of Catherine Ponder
. I even captured some of these on a Facebook Page
. As you are quietly listening to your subconscious in this meditative and reflective time, choose words that jump out at you. Recently, a short affirmation came to me about money that said, “Money grows in the Garden of my life…” To me, at that moment, the garden analogy made my inner spirit jump, and I knew I had something my subconscious connected with. Find those for yourself.
4. Repeat - For the next 30 days, every morning as you are waking up and every evening as the last thing before you go to sleep, repeat your affirmations for 5 minutes. Not in some meaningless rote repetition, but with true reflection, commitment, anticipation and desire. The time or the frequency is not as important as the emotion behind it. Truly experience the excitement of what your life will be, once this matter you are working on has permanently changed.
- At least once every day for the 30 days, spend time with your journal to evaluate your progress. This can be quick, but it needs to be daily. Including weekends. ESPECIALLY weekends. That’s when I often get my best thinking done. With pen and journal in hand (If you need a good journal, I have one in my Amazon store
to the right), write down what’s working; and what’s not. Where you’re on target and where you need to amp it up. Re-state your resolve. Write down a big WHY. This daily exercise will help keep you on track.
Try this process and please comment on what you are doing and how it’s going along the way. You can use the comments as a support-page. I will respond and commit that I will be your partner in walking through the process.
Meanwhile, I have an area that I want to shift for myself, so right along with you, I am going to begin the process as well.