Ways to help rediscover your inspiration to make lasting changes.
Most of us have a,ready forgotten about the resolutions we made for the new year. The easiest thing to do would be to just forget about it until next year, right? Maybe not.
It’s only the month of may and it’s not to late to tap back into that sense of inspiration you had back in January. And it’s not to late to are your desired changes or at least explore what got in your way of the new habits you were going to make.
Here are a few ways you can explore your specific situation and how you can use these reflections to learn and grow any time of the year.
Clarify Your Why
Why did you select the goals you did for this year? Why were they important to you? Changing a habit is hard. Changes that stick do so because the reason behind them is stronger that the urges to engage in your old habits.
Here Are A￼ Few Prompts:
- Write down what your life will look like if you put your new habits in place.
Be as detailed as possible and include the emotions you and others around you may feel.
- Write down what your life will look like if you don’t
Again, use as many meaningful details as possible, including the emotional experiences.
- Ask yourself how important it is for you to make the desired changes on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most.
If your rating is a one, you probably don’t have good enough reasons for this change. So, let it go. You have better things to worry about.
But if your rating is greater than a one, list your reasons for why your rating is
greater than one. Why isn’t it just a one? Write down why any change is important and in what ways you are ready. Make this list as personally meaningful and detailed as possible. Put it some place convenient so you can reference it down the road.
- For Example, say my goal in the new year was to pay attention to my diet and add more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed and refined foods, if I were to imagine what my life would look like with these changes. I like to imagine myself being able to walk with my kids 2 miles to the beach without getting tired.
When I imagine what my future might look like without these changes, I imagine myself dying without seeing my grandchildren born. I imagine my kids wishing they had there mom to help them with their babies.
With this In mind, the importance of this change is clear. I would put at least an 8 on the scale of 1-10. And the reason why it is so high is that I love my kids and want to continue being there for them. I don’t want to burden them financially or emotionally in ways that I have the power to avoid.
I also want to wake up every morning and have energy to enjoy every minute of life I have. I keep my list by my bed and look at it every morning before starting
Understand Your Cravings
Craving is at the root of all suffering. Craving takes on many forms: we crave a new outfit, a new job, or for a habit to become easier. Cravings are quite uncomfortable, and we soothe this discomfort with some action, usually with behavior that distracts us from feeling and provides temporary pleasure. This craving doesn’t map onto the craving at all.
It’s like going shopping for that new outfit and trying on clothing that you know would look better if you lost 20 pounds. Or craving that new job but instead of taking night classes to up your chances of getting that new job. You go to the club after work and drink just to forget about the job you currently have. It works out temporarily but it does not get rid of the craving of what you really want. Unfortunately we seem to repeat bad behaviors or cravings. Not only does it become more hardwired in to our brains the root craving also persists,
So when we decide to head to the freezer for a second serving of ice cream to set us up for more sugar cravings or the the bar after work for drinks, to hide how we really feel about that job. We also don’t make any meaningful changes needed to satisfy the real craving inside.
To break free or this cycling we need to understand it. To do this we need to slow down and observe what is happening in our bodies and minds when craving an old undesirable habit.
We need to recognize what are thoughts and feelings that come up. Sit and notice the sensations with full attention and curiosity. You will notice that when you do the urge of of engaging in the old habit passes in a wave. Do you do this a for several days you will likely discover that you can be with the feelings and urges with have to act on them.
To take this one step further see if you can identify the real need behind the urge. Are you bored? Tired? Thirsty? Needing a physical or emotional connection.
Sometimes our goals falter not because we don’t have good reasons to change, but because we think we don’t deserve better. We tend to judge ourselves harshly for our failures.
Explore what gets in the way of the changes you want to make with curiosity rather than judgement. What happened before or after the behavior you wanted to change? Are there identifying triggers?