Home » Self Improvement

The Real Secret To Changing Anything

May 9, 2008
How any times have you said: I wish I could lose weight, I wish I were in a great relationship, I wish I were making more money, I wish I loved my work?

And how many times have you taken a few steps forward, and then pulled back because you decided it would be a waste of time...or simply impossible?

How many times have you seen someone on TV who made an enormous positive change? What specifically did you tell yourself about the difference between you and him or her?

Now consider that there really isn't much difference between you two.

You are both human. You have similar needs: air, water, food, shelter, and some sort of relationship or connection with others. Oh, and purpose. That, too.

The rest? All small things.

So the real difference between you and that person you regard as so successful? The secret? Certain habits.

What kind of habits? Read on for details.

- Habits of Thought

Consider Jojo. She thinks of herself as athletic. She always did, even before she did anything athletic. Her big brother is a runner and she admired that.

But she didn't want to run.

She tried basketball in high school, was part of the team that won a second-place trophy, and that, she says, showed her the kind of athlete she was meant to be.

She learned what basketball players do, and she did those things. She practiced shooting hoops, talked to other players, read about pro players, and applied for women's basketball scholarships at several colleges.

She trained and ate like a player too.

All these things began as habits of thought, and then became habits of action.

What does this mean? Simply that she thought of herself as athletic, then did "athletic things," and finally made those athletic things habitual.

On the rare day when she doesn't do her exercises or shoot hoops, her body feels off and her game isn't as good. She realized that a while back and quickly made a priority of her workouts and hoop shots.

The more she acts like a basketball player, the more she thinks and feels like one.
The more she thinks and feels like a basketball player, the more she acts like one.

It is self perpetuating, and it works for Jojo very well. Jojo started with a thought and moved toward action.

- Habits of Action

It was different for Dave than for Jojo. Dave didn't begin with thought. He began with action.

You see, when Dave was a child, his mother sent him to art class after school every Tuesday and Thursday starting in fifth grade. She had become a single mom unexpectedly and needed a few extra hours of work twice a week to help the family finances.

A neighbor taught art in her home to neighborhood kids, and Dave's mother could afford the class, so Dave went there twice a week for three years.

At first, he didn't even think about whether he liked it or not. It was just something his mom sent him to do, and he got friendly with two other boys in the class, so it was fun.

Dave started with an action that had no particular importance to him. At first. But repetition reinforced the habit. And his friendships in the class added to the positive experience related to art.

Action created a thought, or more accurately a belief: Being in this art class is fun. Making art feels good. Art is something I like. Art is part of me.

In college Dave ended up with a double major in art and political science.

Today he's an attorney who paints for fun, and buys art, supporting the careers of several struggling artists.

Habits are self-perpetuating: Thoughts, or beliefs (a belief is simply a strong thought that you invest yourself in), can become actions. Actions reinforce beliefs.

And so it goes, unless something breaks that chain.

If Dave gets too busy to paint at all and finds that he needs to stop spending money on art, he may stop connecting himself with art.

He is no longer an artist.

He no longer supports the arts.

You will no longer find him in the art museum on Sundays.

"Which of your actions do you want to keep as habits?" This is an important question to ask yourself because...

- Habits of Action Are Self Perpetuating

Thoughtsactions
Actionsthoughts

If you want a habit that's useful to you, make it your business to maintain it. If you need to skip now and then, get back to it ASAP.

A client I'll call Shana decided to lose weight four years ago and keep it off for the rest of her life. Among other things, she made a deal with herself to stop eating ice cream all together. For Shana, it was a trigger food that led her to chocolate bars and then cakes, re-connected her sweet tooth, and set her up for more and more sugary, fatty treats.

When she ate none of these items, she stayed trim. If she indulged in a candy bar, she wanted another the next day, and another the day after.

For this reason, she gave up these items so they wouldn't trigger sugar binges.

Yet sometimes she felt deprived.

After some experimentation, we discovered that she could eat chocolate that was very dark, with little sugar. It satisfied her craving without triggering a candy binge.

We all need to explore as Shana did to make sure we can satisfy ourselves without walking away from our goal. To explore what we need to cut out entirely. What we want to take on that's new (i.e., a different kind of exercise). And what we can do some of but not too much of.

How does this work in your situation?

Ask yourself:

Which habits of mine are useful and should be kept?

Which will I now build upon or create?

Which do I choose to let go of?

On which do I need to make small and simple changes?

How can I continue what's working? First, how can I train myself to notice what's working?

Once I notice what works, I can strengthen that useful habit simply by acknowledging, rewarding, and continuing what works.

Really, it's quite uncomplicated. If you can notice and recognize a beautiful morning sky, be aware of and enjoy the funny thing your pet did, or detect happiness in a friend's voice over the phone--then you can have great success with any and every technique mentioned in this article.

Start with one. Try it. Repeat it. Understand it. Own it. Then go on to another.

You now officially have the real secret to changing anything in your life.

Why not start today? 2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz is the hypnotist & mind coach who helps people discard damaging habits and create habits that are productive in their lives. She works with clients through her Chicago office and worldwide by phone, and offers a free 15-minute consult. Visit her websites http://www.hypno-attraction.com and http://www.nonsmoker4life.com or contact her: ILAPSAL@aol.com or 312-640-1584.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources