Creating New Habits
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
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Allowing stillness and intention to create your ideal life
Cycles are created for two reasons. Either you’re unaware of another option, or the other option seems “hard” and is therefore deemed unsustainable. Creating change requires both self-awareness and recognition of the toxicity within a pattern.
“Why do I endure these cycles?” Because you literally don’t yet know any other way to be. To live. However, when you realize what you’re doing truly isn’t working - that it’s actually causing harm, in many cases - you permit yourself to start moving forward.
Also required in this process is a willingness to embrace the impending change, including the uncomfortable it may entail. Now at first, this may seem really daunting - I won’t downplay that possibility. And that discomfort may invoke judgment and self-criticism. Stay aware. I also won’t downplay how imperative it is that you honor this process without choosing to push guilt and shame on yourself as you figure it out. Practice compassion. Be gentle with yourself. Allow in the new.
Consider this: how long have you been in this cycle/pattern? How many times have you ended up in this same, too familiar spot? To create new outcomes, you have to do something you’ve never done. Are you ready to shatter your old realities to make way for new ones?
Steps to creating a new pattern:
Create an environment that your body feels safe in.
Become aware of unwanted patterns or habits. Focus on one at a time!
Gain clarity on the desired/preferred outcome of the habit.
List currently attainable actions that will help you cultivate a new pattern.
Establish a routine to nurture the preferred pattern or habit.
When the old pattern comes back around, welcome it like an old friend. Seriously.
Release expectation of the outcome.
Create an environment that your body feels safe in You must allow your body to feel safe while making a change. Ask yourself, “can I bring healing energy to this process right now?”
If the answer is no, start taking slow, deep breaths - short inhales and long, deep exhales. The slower your heart rate, the safer your body will feel. Also stating affirmations like “I am safe. I am protected. I trust myself” will allow for a greater sense of security within your environment. If that doesn’t work, I would recommend not continuing with the steps until you’re able to bring healing energy to it.
Become aware of unwanted patterns or habits: This step is crucial to changing any part of your life. If you don’t know that something is affecting you, how can you change it? Simple as that. Something I personally find helpful is practicing presence, often using tools like writing down what isn’t working in my life around this pattern. Notice if you sense any self-judgment arising around the pattern, and introduce compassion through the reminder that, before this, you didn’t know any better...how could you have changed? Be gentle with yourself.
Gain clarity on the desired/preferred outcome of the habit: What do you want to embody in your life? To create a new life, you first have to figure what that means for you. Track that question down to your burning desires. What just lights you up with joy when you think about it? As you envision your future self, notice what they look like. How they act. What daily habits they have. How do they treat themselves? Get a clear direction on what exactly you want your life to be and why.
List currently attainable actions that will help you cultivate a new pattern. In your new direction, what do you think this person does? Maybe it’s learning how to talk kindly to yourself or eat more mindfully. Maybe even something as simple aiming to shower more regularly. Write out a list of a few activities you could do this week to start making that transformation. Start with the easiest to implement and work your way down the list. Again - be gentle with yourself.
Establish a routine to nurture the preferred pattern or habit.: In this step, you are producing an everyday practice to bring the relationship to your goal. Maybe it’s starting every morning by setting the intention for the new habit of looking at goal-oriented affirmations. Build a routine and commit to it. Practice it every single day. And if you fall off the wagon, GET BACK ON!
We must be willing to release the patterns in our lives that are creating conditions we say we do not want- Louise Hay
Pro-tip: Find an accountability partner.
When the old pattern comes back around, welcome it like an old friend: You’ve likely been living this old pattern for a long time. And let’s be realistic - chances are that it’s going to keep trying to come back around more, especially at the beginning of the transformation. This is natural. Remind yourself that every single time.
And this might be the most important rule. Here’s why: when something comes back into your life, it’s an invitation to further deepen the healing, and/or a notification that you’ve slipped on your daily practice a little. Welcoming it with grace and compassion reminds you that it’s okay. Judgment and shame when the pattern comes back are fueling those old patterns. Recognize. Let go. Move on.
Release expectation of the outcome: As long as you are doing your very best, that is all that matters. It’s a cliche because it’s true! This is not about creating a timeframe of expectation for when this process should be accomplished. Remember - expectations only lead to resentment. Allow yourself to release the control (likely also part of old patterns and habits), and keep creating your best life. One day soon you will notice your growth. Slow down and celebrate every success along the way!
Breaking any cycle takes a great deal of effort, discipline, and determination. And I believe in you! Leave a comment if any of this resonates with you.
*Disclaimer: The opinions stated in this blog are from my personal experience. I am not a therapist or psychologist of any sort.