Hacking Our Thoughts for Change

Nothing will ever change unless we hack our thoughts first. How many times have you heard these phrases whether they come out of your mouth or someone close to you?

thinking-cap

“Every now and then”

“Here and there”

“I only do this once in a while.”

“A little bit won’t hurt.”

“Who’s it going to hurt?”

“I don’t do this all the time!”

“I can handle it!”

Every time we say things like this they all add up and we’re left with less money and ever expanding waistline. If we say we only buy more lives on an in-game purchase  every now and then, those now and then words add up. How many games do we play on our devices? Now add up how many times we buy lives for each game. We’d be surprised at how much these little games can suck us dry.

2014_Stop_Unwanted_Thoughts

Now let’s apply this to eating. We’re trying to lose weight, we know what we’re supposed to eat that will help us with the journey. But then we’re at work and it’s time for a break, we go down to the cafeteria or out for a snack and we pick up a bar of chocolate vowing all the while that “a little bit won’t hurt.” Guess what? It does hurt, and it doesn’t just hurt for a little while because after we eat that chocolate we’re irritable, we’re tired and we’re even more hungry than before the break.

So how do we hack our thoughts?

We change what we focus on. How does this work? Yesterday, I had to go and pick some x-ray images from the clinic. Since it was such a sunny day, I decided to walk. I knew that I would have to pass by one of my favorite coffee places that also has some of my favorite chocolates. Normally, when I walk to the clinic I always treat myself. Yesterday was different, I focused on something else. I decided to give my spouse a call while I walked there so I could focus on the conversation and not about the coffee house and their chocolates. It worked I didn’t stop and I didn’t miss either the coffee or the chocolates.

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We always need to have a plan and then a backup plan that fits our personalities, the goal we are trying to achieve, and our lifestyle. I choose to walk to places that are within 3 miles of my home. This helps me because I hate to workout and I need exercise.

Three thought hacks to get you started:

  1. Change your routine, when it’s break time tell yourself “It hurts me, I am somebody” every time you look at something you know you shouldn’t eat.
  2. Before you get up in the morning say out loud “God, how can I please you today?” This is a big thought changer.
  3. When you feel yourself inching towards spending money on something you don’t need (more game lives, candy bars, books, etc), ask three questions:

         “Will I die tomorrow if I don’t have it today? A year from now will I still want it? Will it make my life more fulfilling?

These are loaded questions and will help you define your needs from your wants.

Change only comes when we hack our thoughts and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJ)

Wishing you Wellness for a New Day!

 

 

2014 FOCUSING ON THE JOURNEY

At last I left you, I was writing about the process of accomplishing a goal instead of just focusing all my efforts on the goal itself. From January to December this this year instead of focusing on all my goals all at once, I’m changing it up and focusing on the process. The process name is called my wellness journey. I’m sure you all have your own names for your process and you all have your own journeys you must walk. I cannot walk your journey for you and you cannot walk my journey for me.

We each come from different walks of life, we’re at different levels of health and wellness, we each understand differently, so it stands to reason that we must focus on our own journey. My journey is filled with self-imposed challenges and maybe some roadblocks (depending on what life throws at me).

Here are my self-imposed challenges for 2014:

January's Challenges

These are my challenges for the month of January. I don’t purpose they become yours. During the month of January I will delve into different aspects of these seven challenges and how I am doing throughout the challenge. 

Until tomorrow. Life is all about the choices we make, whether good or bad. The consequences of the choices  is what we call life. 

Focus on your own journey, your own process then your wellness goals will be achievable. 

HOW MUCH IS YOUR DOGGY IN THE WINDOW?

I don’t know how many times I’m driving down the road only to find the person in front of me or next to me letting their dog either sit on their lap and look out the driver side window, or better yet, have it’s paws on the steering wheel. The other day while out doing my errands on foot, I was almost hit because the driver was paying more attention to her driving dog than she was to her own driving. So I begin to wonder how much do these people really value their pets. How much is your doggy in the window worth towards your own wellness and peace of mind?

We’ve all had pets that become part of the family. Our one family dog growing up, Snuffy, thought she was human. She understood the basic sit, lay down, and beg. But Snuffy also understood Paper, Car (when my father said it), Ride(when my father said it), Porch, and treat. She was never taken to obedience school, my parents and grandparents taught her themselves. She was my protector when I was a baby. My mom used to put me in my buggy to sleep outside when my mom was doing the laundry, and hanging out the clothes. Snuffy used to sleep next to my buggy and if someone tried coming near the buggy who was not family she would growl and go into protection mode.

What is this driver paying attention to?

What is this driver paying attention to?

When Snuffy would go in the car for a ride she always sat in the passengers side, with her nose out the window. She never tried to climb into my Dad’s lap. She had the whole window to herself. If mom was in the car, Snuffy would go to the back seat and just sit and wait for the window to be rolled down for her. She was such a part of our family and she added joy to our lives, just as I’m sure that the pets that ride on their owners laps are to them.

As a part of the family, when she died at the age of 14 we all cried so much that I never thought I would ever feel normal again. Snuffy ran away to die, we didn’t watch and it was a blessing because she was sickly, and watching her die would have been too much for my 9-year old mind. I wonder if these drivers who let their dogs drive with them ever consider the consequences of their actions.

Consequences are the result of every action we take. We have laws that prevent horrendous consequences, like texting while driving, (3000 people died in 2011 from distracted driving). There needs to be a law on the books that says pets should not be on the drivers lap while driving. This is just as distracting as writing a text, even more so because with a text you can control the phone, but you never know what’s going to set your dog off to barking, or maybe slipping off your lap and landing on the gas pedal. And there you are paying attention to what your dog is doing and you don’t realize you just hit a woman who was walking with her child because you didn’t see it.

The other part of this scenario is that most of the people I’ve seen that let their dogs ride on their laps are senior citizens. It’s a known fact that as we age our reaction time is slower. While driving with a dog on your lap may seem like a loving thing to do for your pet, it’s really not. You are putting your life, you pet’s life, and someone else’s life in danger. Think about your wellness and your pet’s wellness.

Keep your pet off your lap.

How much is your doggy in the window?

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING

I must admit, I too am part of the group of people who sometimes lets the circumstances of life get to her. Let’s face it we all have days and sometimes weeks where we get down and need to take some time to regroup and regather our thoughts. That’s what this time away has been for me. It’s been a long time coming with what I’ve been dealing with these last few months.

So many times I think we always feel the need to keep going no matter what happens in our lives, that we lose focus of what’s really important to us. We can get up every morning and still have the same feelings of the day before if we don’t deal with them before we go to bed.

Last week I heard a message from John Maxwell and then something similar from Rick Warren about how it doesn’t matter how much you can get done in a day. What matters most is how much have you imitated God in a day. Last week I wrote “Was I an imitator of God today?” and posted it on the wall that I see first thing in the morning and in my bathroom where it is the last thing I see before retiring at night.

Was I am imitator of God today

I don’t find the answers to this question in my list of things to do. I find the answers to this question from my prayers for the people in my life and even my  enemies,the smiles I give to strangers, the helping hand I give to someone in need, the uplifting words I used throughout the day, the forgiveness I give to people who have hurt me (and continue to hurt me), the ability to turn the other cheek when accusations are hurled at me, standing up for the truth of God, the compassion I show, and the love that I show to all people I come into contact with. 

I stopped making a to-do list and started concentrating on this question each day.  When I was in school and had to read a large section of text for assignments I would read through the questions at the end of the sections, because it made me focus more on the answers when they presented themselves. So when I read the question “Was I an imitator of God today?”in the morning, it opens me up to opportunities where I can imitate God with the talents He gave me.

I’m not saying that just reading the question will make things happen, you have to have faith and be willing to put yourself to the side to  learn how to live God’s way of life. You can’t imitate anyone unless you know them. So in order to know God you need to read His Word. Study His Word. Meditate on His Word and Pray.

So while it’s been a long time coming, it has been a time where I regrouped and refocused my thoughts to what’s really important for me.

To quote a famous coach, Vince Lombardi, and the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer:

“God, family, and everything else; in that order!”

28 DAYS TO A NEW LIFE

February

You can change you change your life in 28 days. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. If you could change something about your life (finances, love, peace, truth, etc), what would it be? If you need more money to meet your bills, need more love, peace, truth, whatever you decide you can make lasting change in just 28 days.

They say it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. It matters what you focus on. For instance if you want to lose weight, the first 21 days are the most difficult because you’re cultivating new habits and replacing the old ones. But what do you focus on? Are you focused on the negative side of losing weight, having to give up favorite comfort foods, the pain of working out? Or are you focusing on the new foods you get to eat, having more energy, and fitting into smaller sizes? If you’re trying to find more money at the end of the month, did you draw up a budget and stick to it? Are you looking for ways to make more money?  Or are you focusing on the fact that you have no money.

A simple aspect to remember “What we focus on is where our lives will go.” 

If you want more peace in your life, choose peace. React in peaceful ways. Remove parts of your life that don’t bring you peace, if you can. If not look for ways to bring peace to the the situations that are causing you strife.

For the next 28 days to a new life I will be examining ways to change my own life that involves my own action steps. Join me to see how life can change in 28 days.