If you look at my blog's Author paragraph and read the first sentence, you'll get a huge tip about what today's blog is all about. "My name is Kayleigh Radatus and I'm the creator of This Groovy Life." That's right...I am the creator of my version of This Groovy Life. Try it out for yourself, but put your own name in the sentence; "My name is _____________ and I'm the creator of my groovy life." Feel powerful? Scary? Nothing at all? A bunch of different things? Whatever you felt is fine, it just pays to take note of how you; all the parts of you; body, mind & spirit all responded to that statement.
The thing is, you do create your life. Everything you think and do creates the outcomes you are experiencing. Change what you think and do, and your life changes. Simple right? Not necessarily, because it's common that people "forget" when caught up in all the day to day bits of life, then bed time rolls around and you're just falling asleep and you realize you forgot to do that one thing you promised yourself you'd do today. Change is challenging, not because it's particularly hard, but because we tend to live our lives on automatic pilot, and in some areas, that's not a bad thing. Putting some tasks on automatic pilot frees up brain space to remember or work out other things; but...and this is a big one...if you're living your whole life as a combination of automatic pilot and reacting to situations as they come up, then you're not really living your life, you're disconnected and just responding to outside events, and you're going to have a really difficult time doing that new thing you want to add to your life.
So, how do we change this? Well, it involves one of my favourite things; planners. It's best if you do this on paper, but if you do all of your planning electronically, that's okay too.
Here are the steps you need to take to break out of that automatic & reaction based way of living.
1) Decide what change you're going to make. For example; you decide you want to have some sort of physical activity every day. Is it going to be the same activity every day, or will it change depending on weather, or your schedule? Some people like to visit a gym a few days a week, and go for a walk on the days in between, but what happens if the weather isn't great for walking? What happens if a snowstorm hits on gym day? What happens if you get sick? (For me; for this particular issue...I decide in advance what level of sick I have to be before I let myself not do what I said I would. I will also adjust my plan; maybe my activity on sick days will be gentle stretching, or a more moderated version of my usual activity.) You need to have some sort of plan, even a loose one, of what to do if something gets in the way of your plans.
2) Take out your planner, and look at your week. How does your plan for daily activity fit into your life schedule? This is the part where you are completely committing to doing what you have said you're going to do. You are going to do this; no matter what. If you don't have that level of commitment to your change; you're likely to be unsuccessful, because as soon as you say; it's okay if I don't do this some days, you're giving yourself an out for those days when you're really busy, or just don't feel like it. When you commit 100% you take away the question of whether or not you're going to do what you say you're going to. It automatically becomes part of your life.
So; choose which days you'll go to the gym, and which days you'll do your walk. You might have a day, when the only window you have for a walk is lunch time at work. Schedule it in, and make a note that you need to eat at your desk that day. Or maybe, your only window happens if you get up early or go to bed late. Decide right now, what you are going to do each day, add it to your planner, and make sure you add any extra steps you need to make sure it happens (maybe you need to reprogram your alarm). In the case of that unexpected snow storm; this is where your planning in step 1 comes in; maybe you plan a dance party in your living room, or you research, in advance, a home workout routine you can do without equipment. Or maybe, shoveling that snow does the trick. Schedule time in your planner to repeat this process EVERY week.
3) If you don't have a set time each evening AND morning to check your planner, you're going to need to start. Leave your planner where you can look at it first thing, or put a sticky note on your phone. Make sure that you look at both your week and the next day when you start your day and when you end it, as this helps keep your new plan fresh in your mind.
4) Put a sign somewhere that you will see it regularly that says what you're doing, and what the intended specific, positive result is; keeping with the physical activity theme, maybe your sign might say; "I'm having daily physical activity, and I'm feeling healthy, strong and happy! I can wear the clothes I want to, and I can join in all the activities I choose!" If you need an extra boost to keep focused on your change, I have a product called Remembrings Cards* designed to help with this. You fill out a new card with your chosen change on it, and every night before bed, spend some time focusing on the positive message on the card, then spend some time focusing on your chosen change, and put the card on your night stand. The next morning, you do the same focusing exercises and put the card in your pocket. Every day before bed, you write out a new card. The acts of writing the card daily, plus the focusing exercises, and keeping the card with you reinforces your change and your commitment to it.
5) Do what you had planned to do each day. If you've done all of the above, it's likely that you'll have no trouble remembering to do it. You might not feel like doing what you said you would, but that's a whole other challenge, and on a really basic level, the reality is that we don't always feel like doing even our most favourite thing. So if that part comes up, start dealing with it by remembering your 100% commitment to yourself, and do what you said you would anyway. You'll thank yourself later!
6) Give yourself a high five! Or a 5 minute break! Or a sticker on a chart tracking your progress! Give yourself some sort of congratulations that you did what you said you would. You don't have to do this ongoing, but when you're at the beginning of creating changes, positive reinforcement goes a long way to helping you feel great about the process. At the beginning, we're not seeing the results we're looking for, and without that positive reinforcement, it's easy to give up, so set yourself some little rewards along the way, and be happy and proud of ALL you do.
When creating a new habit, there are lots of things that can get in the way, but in my experience, both in my own life, and with my clients, following these 6 steps solves a lot of the issues that most people face. In future blog posts, I'll address some of the other things that can get in the way. All the best to you as you begin the process of creating your own groovy life!
Keep on groovin'
*If you'd like to purchase these cards, please message me. I am working on getting my online store up and running, but it's not quite ready yet.
My name is Kayleigh Radatus, and I'm the creator of This Groovy Life. As far as I'm concerned, we're here to really live and love This Groovy Life, and it's my purpose to help you do exactly that! I hope this blog is helpful. If there are any Personal Empowerment or Metaphysical topics you'd like me to cover, send me a message!