Lifestyle shapes life.
And what we do all day becomes our lifestyle.
It’s one thing to give up something– coffee, dairy products, sugar, etc— and it’s another to start something new. Similar but, in my experience, different.
Both have their inherent “change-factor”- the status quo is being shaken up.
While it may seem easier to start something new (add in a new habit, a new mantra, a new vitamin) it has been my observation and my personal experience that it’s often tricker to add in something to the status quo.
It requires time (even if it’s 30 seconds!), it requires remembering to do it (!) and… there’s sometimes a learning curve, too.
In Feng Shui, there are so many ways to shift the energy to help changes happen with ease and flow. I love using these energizing tools to make shifts in so many other ways, too!
Today, as I have a few new habits to integrate into my own life, I’m excited to share my best energy-shifting methods that have made change-making a thrilling endeavor!
The dentist gave me a new habit today to step up Bob’s healthy smile game because our last round of new habits worked out so well! Now, we have a new way to do doggy toothbrushing (one where he doesn’t try to eat the toothbrush every time!) and a whole new schedule for this. These new things excite me, especially when I see the results, including, and most importantly, his happiness!
My dermatologist, who I love for both his diagnostic knowledge and his savvy with every product on the market and where to buy it (!!!) gave me three new habits: mineral sunscreen, a very strong vitamin serum and a retinoid for sun damage. For someone who appears to have relatively few skin issues at all on the surface, apparently my old-school sun damage is wreaking havoc beneath the surface. Thinking I was just getting a basic check-up on the many moles I have, instead, like Bob, I have a whole revitalized wellness plan.
As I drove home from this morning that started very early, I started thinking about all the habits I have kept in my life, and all of the ones I have failed to maintain, despite having the greatest of intentions at the outset.
All these changes are additions to my days, albeit small ones. When I get these down, I’m heading into the realm of bigger time commitments (classes, personal training, new ventures! ) but I’m happy to incorporate these first!
The actions that work for me, that have helped me shift my lifestyle 180 degrees for the best, are all the same whether for small of large new things!
I just left the dermatologist today after my fur baby Bob got his teeth cleaning. It was quite the morning of change-making that I didn’t expect.
Make sure it’s wanted.
If I don’t feel the need, I won’t get it done. If I think the results will be minimal, I won’t likely stick with it. If it’s something that makes me feel miserable, it’s unlikely that I’ll even try it.
I understand why change-making is so hard. No one likes to suffer or struggle in ways that feel unnecessary, and a lot of proposed changes are very unappealing.
There are always more appealing habits, methods and approaches to get through everything you need and want to do. It’s well-worth looking for them because you’ll find all the rest is super-simple.
This is the biggest thing I do: research everything.
You Tube is an invaluable resource for me. I just watched three videos on all that I detailed above, and I’ll watch a few more, for sure!
Whether in books, asking friends who are experts, looking online and always on You Tube, I research all new things to see what they entail, best practices and some tricks and tips.
“Do you really need to watch videos on dogs getting their teeth brushed?”
I was asked that recently and the answer is: absolutely, yes. It’s make all the difference! Knowledge builds skill and power!
If you’ve worked with me, you know this already: I am a big fan of customizing routines so they are uniquely suited for me. Best practices are great to know and to nail, but after you have those down, it’s your style that will turn habits into a lifestyle!
Get the supplies.
If there are lots of supplies involved (like when I started painting) I start with the core basics and keep adding. As I learn to film videos in fancy ways on a big camera, every new lens, light, set design and editing goodie is pushing the envelope. I was able to practice on lesser cameras and even my phone, but now it’s a new round of supplies to gather.
Pick a time or times to do it, tacking it onto other things if need be.
If I don’t decide that I’ll be doing something at a certain time, I’m fairly sure it won’t stay in my life very long. I like to do new things early in the morning, because in the early morning we have more of our mental bandwidth for learning and decision-making sharp and intact.
Take notes (or pictures) if it applies.
If I’m making a change to my house, I’ll do before and after photos. If I’m starting an exercise routine, I’ll take photos before and after. If I’m learning something new, I’ll keep a journal so I can recognize the pivotal points of change.
I do this for one big reason: we tend to forget where we started and don’t “see” gradual change, and when you don’t recognize the positive growth, it’s easy to abandon all these awesome habits the minute life gets busier!
Put it on the calendar for at least three months.
If I don’t put something new on my calendar and to-do list every day for many months, I guarantee it’s not doing to stay in my life.
Yes, it’s possibly weird to have “put on sunscreen,” “Bob’s new toothbrushing” or anything of the other things that make it to my to-do list for many months, mixed in with design clients, meetings, teaching sessions, dinners… but, it’s the “put on sunscreen” notes that make the to-do list valuable in the first place!
Shift the space in which this new thing happens.
Here’s the clincher. If I’m, say, committing to a longer time doing my spiritual practice, I might get new floor pillows, deep clean the whole room where I do it, get a rug, add an aromatherapy diffuser or new art… or… really anything that helps me to feel extra-refreshed in the space!
If your habit is a wellness habit, or a new diet shift, can you upgrade your refrigerator organization? Clean out the pantry? Start growing herbs in the kitchen?
All of these shifts help to reinforce the space/life mirror. Your space has upgraded. You have upgraded. It’s powerful reinforcement!
These ideas and energy-shifting methods are quite simple. I rarely need to do all of them, but without them when they’re needed, my “new habits” will fade out before they ever take root.
Here’s to all the new habits that become pivotal life-changers!!!
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