Tired of the same old, same old? We’ve probably all been there but the mind is a difficult thing to change. Circumstances aren’t always within our control and that can feel very disabling. At the core, sometimes our greatest fear is that we aren’t capable of change, but what if this year we started thinking about what newness we could welcome into our lives? What new things excite you and get your wheels turning? What has felt impossible and how can you start to move in that direction? Our intent today is to turn our minds to those questions and commit to explore new things in the new year.
You too? Consider these three places for newness in your life: Continue reading
Every new years resolution list comes with some note on our health.
We want to lose 10 pounds.
We want to be able to run a mile without stopping.
We want to take that hiking trip and train all summer to prepare.
Those are awesome goals and we encourage you to make them but we also want to encourage those goals not to fall flat. To do that, start by setting small intents along the way that will promote reaching those dreams. If you’re wanting to run a mile, perhaps an app like Couch to 5k which does increasing interval training alternating between walking and running is something to download and start using everyday. Perhaps on your way to losing 10 pound, you set smaller intents for drinking water, getting rest and cutting down on sugar. So our intent today? It’s to create habits for health that will become the groundwork for bigger and bolder intents!
You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading
Recently I had a bad night of tossing and turning. I was up for a few hours, then overslept the next morning.
And while I was lying there, unable to sleep, I knew I was violating some of the beat-the-insomnia advice that experts give. Though, true, to give myself credit, I was following some advice.
These tips were on my mind, because I’d just read Andrea Petersen’s Wall Street Journal piece “Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia Blues.”
I violated one of the most basic back-to-sleep tips — the tip to get up, rather than toss and turn.
If you have trouble with insomnia, here are some of the tips from the article: Continue reading
Developing and sticking to a new fitness routine can feel overwhelming but it is actually much simpler than it sounds. The first step is to define your fitness goal. No matter what your reason, defining it from the start, and making it incredibly personal and relevant to you, is how to begin creating this positive habit in your life. Here are some simple ways to help you meet your personal goals: Continue reading
When it comes to figuring out happiness and good habits, I don’t think it matters much if you’re a man or a woman.
It’s easy to assume that certain aspects of ourselves matter more than they do. For instance, birth order. People believe that birth order has a big influence on personality — but research has disproved this. Birth order just doesn’t matter for personality.
Now, whether you’re a man or a woman matters in some situations, sure.
But in general, in my observation, for any particular person, individual differences swamp gender differences. Continue reading
By Deepak Chopra, MD
On many fronts people feel the urge to change their lives–so why don’t they succeed? We live in therapeutic times. Advice surrounds us about achieving success. Yet when we set our minds to do something seemingly simple–losing weight, giving up a bad habit, acting nicer to people, and so on–something intervenes between the intention and the goal. This “something” exists in the relationship between the mind, which issues a desire or intention, and the brain, which is the physical apparatus for carrying out desires and intentions.
If you assume that the brain is the mind, which is the working assumption in 99% of neuroscience research, there is little room for solving the problem. It’s as if you hear a piece of music you don’t like on the radio, so you try to rearrange the radio’s parts. Obviously a mistake is being made there, but the relationship between mind and brain is subtler. It’s like a conversation between two people, where one person is dominant one moment and the other person is dominant the next. In the dialogue between mind and brain, most of the time the mind is automatically dominant. If you want to raise your arm, the brain sends the appropriate signals without obstacle of interference.
But sometimes the brain interjects its own feedback, and then the signals become confused. In the last post we discussed how brain-trained responses can make us virtual robots obeying old conditioning, habits, memories, and so on. The mind trains the brain to do X, and then without benefit of new training, the brain does X all the time. If you look at your own life, you can find endless examples of how brain-training limits your freedom of choice. For example, Continue reading
When people think about changing their habits, they often think of the diet-and-exercise family of habits.
Also, as much as I personally love habits, I know that many people associate habit-change with having to make a lot of effort.
But habits don’t have to take a lot of time or energy to form, and they can help us with any aspect of our lives. I have to admit, even now, after spending years thinking about habits, I’m astonished by how much a truly tiny habit can boost happiness.
For instance, here are some examples of a few quick, easy habits that I’ve adopted to strengthen my relationships. They’re all practically effortless, they all make me happier.
These kinds of habits are particularly helpful to me, because the truth is, I can get lost in my own head, and become so focused on crossing something off my to-do list that I neglect to make time to connect with the people who are most important to me. In the tumult of everyday life, I find it all too easy to overlook what really matters.
So I’ve made these habits: Continue reading
In my book Better Than Before, I write about the many strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. There’s a big menu of choices, which is great, because it means that we all have a variety from which to pull. Some strategies work for some people, but not others. Some strategies are available to us at certain times, but not other times.
In Better Than Before, I focus mostly on what we can do, ourselves, to change our habits. But it’s very obvious that each of us can have a lot of influence on other people’s habits. And often we really, really, really want to help someone else to change a key habit.
So, if you want to help someone else to change an important habit (and I’ve certainly tried to do this myself, many times, in my loving habits-bully way), here are a few top strategies to try: Continue reading
People often ask me, “Why do we struggle so hard to change our habits–why do we so often fail?”
There are a few reasons, but there’s one big one — a popular myth about habits that leads people astray. It makes them accuse themselves of being lazy, self-indulgent, and lacking in will-power. It causes them to fail.
What is this myth? It’s the myth that there’s a magic, one-size-fits-all solution for habit change.
You’re read the headline: “The habits that successful people follow each morning!” “Follow these 3 secret habits of millionaires! “The one habit you must follow if you want to get ahead!” “The five habits of all highly creative people!”
But here’s what I’ve discovered. And you know this, too — because it’s perfectly obvious from looking at the world around us. Continue reading
If you’re chronically tardy, how do you start showing up on time?
Many people have the habit of constantly running late — and they drive themselves, and other people, crazy.
Now, I have the opposite problem — I’m pathologically early, and often arrive places too soon. This is annoying, as well, but in a different way. As I write this, I’m realizing that I assume that chronic earliness is very rare. But maybe it’s not. Are you chronically early?
In any event, more people seem bothered by chronic lateness. Feeling as though you’re always running twenty minutes behind schedule is an unhappy feeling. Having to rush, forgetting things in your haste, dealing with annoyed people when you arrive…it’s no fun.
If you find yourself chronically late, what steps can you take to be more prompt? That depends on why you’re late. As my Eighth Commandment holds, the first step is to Identify the problem – then you can see more easily what you need to change.
There are many reasons you might be late, but some are particularly common. Are you late because… Continue reading