New habits start with changing your thoughts.
Renewed Hope and Change
The excitement of a fresh new year often brings the excitement of new hope and change. It is in this spirit that so many people enthusiastically set New Year Resolutions, claiming that this year, things are going to be different. It is human nature to want to upgrade your life. To grow as a person, to better yourself. For many, knowing how to change stands in the way. Many people start by changing their habits. There is an often-overlooked element that needs work when we are creating new changes and habits.
Often, the older we get, the more “stuck in our ways” we seem to be. We learn enough about life. We try to change what we want to change. And at some point, we accept ourselves and figure the rest of the world can accept us as well. We believe we are too old to change.
If everything in life is just the way you want it, then that may be an acceptable attitude. (And congratulations). While I can certainly understand getting to this stage, I personally hope that I never do. We can achieve a level of love and acceptance for ourselves and also be working to become a better version of ourselves. We can always be more aware, love deeper, connect more. This is where I want to live.
One of the basic ways to make changes is to change habits. Ask anyone who is trying to make changes in their life and they will tell you it is all about your habits. If you visit the “Self-Help” section of the book store you will find a large selection of books on creating better habits. (Side Note: “Self-Help” needs to be renamed to “Personal Growth” or “Personal Development”).
Guess what? Habits are not just the little things in life like brushing our teeth and locking the doors. The big things in your life are habits also. The thing about habits is you don’t have to think about them. Because, well…. they are habits. They run on autopilot. Habits do more to create the life you live than any conscious choice you make. Yet most of the time, these choices are made without thinking. Or are they?
Thoughts as Habits
Our thoughts are habits also. Wow, this idea kinda smacked me. As a Health Coach / Life Coach, I study a lot about thoughts and the impact they have on the results we get in life. So the idea that our thoughts about the big, important things in life run on autopilot is something I had not considered. It makes sense though. Let me explain using money as an example. What are your thoughts about money? Do you have thoughts like; Money something other people have. Having money takes hard work. Being rich only for the lucky. Is money something you will never have enough of? Do you think luxury items are something out of your reach? Each of these thoughts about money is a habit. If money is scarce for you, you may want to think about your money thought habits.
Let’s see if the theory applies to thinking about your health. Do you think of yourself as a healthy person? For example, you sneeze. (God bless you.) Are you more likely to think, “Oh no, I must be getting sick.” ? Or, do you think…. “ I’m sure it is nothing. I feel fine…” Depending on your health thought habits in this situation, you are more likely to feel worse or better.
How you think about your health can affect your health. And if thoughts are habits, then how you think about your health is a habit. That means you can change your health by changing your health thought habits. Read that again.
Habits Are A Reflection of Your Thoughts.
Changing habits is a fantastic way to improve your life. However, it can be challenging, and now that you see that thinking is a habit, you can see why it is harder than we expect it to be. If you are struggling to make changes, you might need to pay attention to your thoughts behind the habit. In a future article, I will tie habits and thoughts together in a way that will make changing a little easier. Until then, I want you to Live Light.