learning something new

“the more I practice the luckier I get.” Arnold Palmer

a few small tools for making big changes

by sarah barrett lepore

It can be a bear to add a healthy habit into your life, at least one that STICKS. It makes the mind scavenge to the end of it’s crevices looking for a glimmer of an excuse to do that old behavior until there simply aren’t any justifiable reasons left. The pain brought about by the old way has to get so big that the new way becomes THE ONLY CHOICE.  In most cases that painful thing ends up being a life-changing stroke or a chronic heart condition, or the prospect of not being able to play on the floor with the grandkids. All of that can be turned around, its never too late! In my work, we are all about getting on track and practicing prevention. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Yes, says Ben Franklin.

Since we’re officially rockin’ round the clock in this new season of SPRING, it’s time to implement some steps and give ourselves a fighting chance to have a feel good SUMMER. Prevention isn’t overnight, after all. Therefore, we need to have a little foresight and make an action plan NOW. Here are a couple of tips to help boost your jive in the right direction:

1. Get clear.

Of course the planetary alignments and the phases of the moon can affect your clarity, sense of ease and energy levels, and natural (or not so natural) disasters can completely throw everyone into a tailspin, but in the meantime you can use your VISION to SEE your desired outcome. Vision is a THIRD EYE quality, the Sixth Chakra located on your forehead just above your eyes. Use that energy center and SEE your desired outcome in great detail. Draw a picture of it, create a vision board, or close your eyes and every time you do a routine thing like go to the bathroom, do dishes, or sit at a red light, SEE that outcome in your mind’s eye. Try it on, wear it, ACT AS IF.  Your vision will guide you to your next evolution.

2. Time.

Realize that making lasting change takes time and patience. Accept it, surrender to it, there’s no way around the concept of making time to practice. When you learned to drive a car you went slowly and were aware of every nuance. Now, you can do it while eating, changing the radio station, and talking on the phone. Carve out the time and get ‘er done. It’s for YOU and no one else. As a matter of fact, no one else in your life can steal this time from you. Treat it as luxurious and sacred (it was FUN to drive a car, wasn’t it? You were motivated by FREEDOM to get around on your own). Let this change be equally as motivating. Soon that new thing will be a daily habit that you do without noticing. Like always ordering the salad instead of the fries or always going to that yoga class instead of sleeping in on Tuesday mornings or only eating the bottom bun instead of all of it. Every little choice accumulates to create big outcomes.

3. Stop procrastinating.

Studies show when you STOP your “thinking mind” (overthinking is a sign of an excessive Third Eye Chakra) and literally SET A TIMER, you are more likely to get the task in front of you done. If you want to organize your closet in time for Summer, set the timer for 15 minutes and focus on only that until the timer dings. Let it jump start your momentum. If you want to improve your cardiovascular endurance by August, set the timer for 10 minutes TODAY and dance, do jumping jacks, put on a YouTube exercise video and stop when the timer goes off. Every week add 3-5 minutes to the timer. You won’t even notice you missed Wheel of Fortune because you were IN THE ZONE!

4. Make a plan for challenges.

The old triggers are going to be there…you know, the 5 o’clock bell that triggers the trip to either the couch or the bar, the alarm that goes off when you routinely press snooze instead of wake up and meditate or stretch, or even when that certain friend texts and wants to go eat ice cream and french fries right when you were going to take a walk… THE BIGGEST CHANCE FOR SUCCCESS IN CHANGING BEHAVIORS involves having a plan for dealing with the old triggers. What is your plan? Mind you, the couch, the bar and the ice cream are righteous elements of living joyfully… AND just like too much exercise is bad for you (yes, there is such a thing), check yourself that those luxurious things aren’t tipping into the “too much” zone. You know if they are.

5. Your tribe may not like you at first, and some may leave.

No doubt you have friends that you indulge with and who you commiserate with in the practice of self loathing thoughts (“I’m sooo fat!” “Oh Becky no you aren’t, I AM” or “One workout isn’t going to make a difference, let’s skip it”) or the shared bad habit (“lets bail on the meditation class and get a double burger”) or even belief systems from the culture in the form of clichés (“you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”) can truly put your progress on hold or halt it all together. This is a ROOT chakra concern, and we can talk about that deeper as you decide to move forward along with your new habit. Just know, the group to which you belong may spit you out, and you ultimately may have to find a new gang. Remember the Girl Scout round “make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” Whatever you choose, don’t let your ROOTS mess up your greater VISION. Solid roots will celebrate your new adopted habit, the rest will have their own path to follow. And that’s ALLLL GOOOOD.

I help people every day to incorporate “new” into their lives, like a sponsor who sends along reminders or words of encouragement (everyone remembers their Driver’s Ed instructor, don’t they?) When the going gets tough, or the tribe turns on you, or the double burger won this time, don’t throw it all away. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Join our email list to keep up on events and offerings at Chakra Strength. And remember, we’re making VISION BOARDS on Tuesday April 10th at 6:30, and EVERY TUESDAY we have an open group for FREE! Stop by and check us out.

Categories: chakras