How to Change Your Mindset in 4 Easy Steps
The theme of the month for October is Willingness to Change. Making any changes in our life can be relatively easy – if we are committed enough. However, maintaining those changes is where the hard work begins.
I’m sharing four simple steps you can take to help you make changes that stick.
You’re not alone.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting my Motivate Me VIP Facebook Group it’s that everyone is willing to offer support and advice whether that’s in a face-to-face environment, or via an online community. Sharing your challenges and changing circumstances will help you to cope with any stresses that are associated with these adjustments.
Talking about the alterations you’re making, or writing about them in a notebook (or blog) not only helps you to remain accountable for your actions but allows you to share your feelings (positive and negative) and allow others to offer assistance. The relief you feel in sharing your story can carry you forward.
When I began my yearlong challenge in 2013, I had twelve categories which I broke down into fifty-two individual tasks. Chunking everything down allowed me the time and head space to deal with each challenge.
Changing your mindset works in a similar way. Begin by making the smallest of alterations, so they aren’t so overwhelming. Your confidence will grow as you achieve each stage and this, in turn, will help you to tackle the larger changes you hope to make.
It’s important to be aware of yourself when you’re hoping to make changes, and subsequently, improve your life. I follow some simple exercises which help me to stay on track. The first is to spend a few moments every morning listening to my breathing and grounding myself for the day ahead. Focused breathing at various times during the day is a fabulous way to stay attentive and aware of your thoughts and actions.
You can also be mindful when you’re eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Put your phone away and notice what you’re eating, how it tastes, the textures, and flavours.
Reflecting on your day before you go to sleep at night also helps you to remain mindful. Ask yourself a series of questions – what did you achieve today/what went well/what needs work?
Changing your mindset, or making any changes in your life requires motivation and dedication. The times you’ve lost a significant amount of weight at a slimming group only to put it all (and more) back on months later is an indicator that you haven’t changed your ‘old rules and beliefs’.
Your thoughts influence your actions – to change your behaviour (e.g., over-eating) you need to change your experiences. Your actions are what influence your experiences so to alter these you need to start changing the way you think.
“What we think, we become.” Buddha
Our brains are wired to remember ‘stuff’ for ease of access. Think about brushing your teeth, driving your car, using a knife and fork. You can do this instinctively – they are habits.
When our bad habits (overeating, self-sabotage, etc.) direct our thoughts, then we action this (binge eating or trash talking about ourselves) and create an experience that if done over and over becomes a habit. Our brain thinks it’s giving us what we want because we keep doing it!
To change these habits we need to block off the old ways. We need to change our thoughts, change our actions, and create new experiences.
Here’s a great exercise you can try:
Write down a habit you want to change, for example, I eat at night when I’m bored. Make a note of how you feel before, during, and after. Now, rewrite this experience in the way you would prefer it to be. For example, I have plenty of books to read and films to watch to occupy my evenings. I also have new activities (gym, book club, etc.) that I can attend which will fill my nights with joy. Meeting up with old friends, chatting to family over the phone, or finishing off projects are perfect ways for me to enjoy my nights.
Repeat the new way in your head (thoughts), start doing what you’ve written (actions), and enjoy the new experiences.
Do you have an experience you would like to share about changing habits? Feel free to add it in the comments below or join my VIP Facebook Group for more support.