Fly with the Phoenix

Nuts and bolts to build lasting change
January 23, 2011, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Personal Transitions | Tags: , , ,

This month, we’ve looked at resolutions and what makes lasting change. In this final installment, let’s talk briefly about the nuts and bolts–the building material–for making positive changes. Remember, this week (Jan. 26) at 7 PM is the free teleclass, “Keep Your Motor Running,” that will look at how we can build momentum to our new year’s evolutions.


Last week, the discussion was about attitudes and how they can block our efforts to get healthy–stop eating too much, drinking or smoking. I have to stress that it’s a good idea to check with a medical doctor before you take steps to control eating, to stop smoking, drinking or taking drugs. You may have an addiction, which is when the negative behaviors have developed to such an extent that stopping them causes severe trauma. You may need medical/psychological help to overcome this.

For less severe cases, your old bad habits can be changed by adopting the steps  discussed earlier: find your motivation, make a plan and find the support to help you on the journey.

Let’s look at the person who would like to stop smoking, once and for all. He’s accepted as truth the medical data that shows his habit is putting him at a great risk of cancer and other serious diseases. The motivation to stop is to possibly save his life and extra money needed to feed the habit.

His plan might be to seek a medically based treatment or an over-the-counter method that will curb the nicotine cravings. All unused packs of cigarettes are tossed in the trash and none can be found at his home. He might stay away from situations that trigger mental desires to smoke, such as smoky bars and nightclubs. To help keep his mind off smoking, he might take up a positive habit, like exercise, so when the cravings kick in, he replaces these with the new positive behavior.

His plan was broken down into small, attainable goals that he could recognize and celebrate when they were reached.

For support, he can create a phone list of friends and family he can call that will talk to him when he’s feeling weak in the knees and want to drive to the convenience store for a pack. Should he slip up, he knows he can forgive himself and get back on track. Stumbling doesn’t mean you’re out of the race.

You see the steps are in place to help him be successful in his fight to stop smoking. This process can be similarly adapted to quit other habits that are harmful to us.

What successes have you enjoyed so far as you work on your new year’s evolution? Share some tips and insight in your comment. Are you stuck on something? You can comment below or if you prefer privacy, just leave a comment such as “I have a question and would like to get in touch with you” and I’ll take it from there!

I hope all of you will this year enjoy a life of joy and abundance. Learn to embrace your life transitions as the gift they truly are! Peace and joy!

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Make resolution an evolution using these tips
January 15, 2011, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Personal Transitions | Tags: , , ,

Earlier this month, we examined New Year’s resolutions and how changing our thinking, finding motivation, breaking big goals into smaller ones, making a plan and keeping the momentum to stick to the plan will lead to real change. This post goes deeper with some suggestions to help you along your journey to a new and improved you for 2011!

Letting go of old weight. This is the section about weight loss, but not the type you carry around your waist. This is the weight you carry on your heart and soul.

In northern Alabama, there’s a popular shopping attraction, the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Baggage lost by airlines that remain unclaimed or items passengers leave behind are funneled to this warehouse store and sold.

I want you to think of leaving your old emotional baggage at a similar warehouse. Dump it. You don’t need it.

Look within and see what might be a roadblock that prevents you from letting go of old hurt, anger, fear. If you remain angry at someone, maybe you haven’t forgiven that person. By forgiving him, you release yourself. Old hurts often can be healed through forgiveness, too.

If you are anxious or afraid, look for the emotion’s root. Maybe you think you have to tackle something alone, when in truth, we are never alone because God wants to be part of our everyday lives. Knowing we have God on our side gives us a power that enables us to do anything with Him.

Envision what letting go will look like in your life. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of the book “Psycho-Cybernetics,” says change is brought about by experience, and experiencing can occur subconsciously. Our subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between real and unreal. It accepts what we feed it.

By envisioning what letting go of your hurt, anger and fear, your subconscious mind will start to feel the first fruits of recovery. You’ll be drawn to put these imagined steps into real practice.

If you want to explore forgiveness or letting go in your life, leave a comment at the end of this article so I can contact you directly.

Quitting a bad habit. When I coach someone who wants to make changes in her life, I listen for distortions. These are statements directed inward that people accept as truth. Often after exploration, they can see that these statements are not grounded in fact but it’s how they perceive their facts.

Freeing yourself of a bad habit–over-eating, drinking, using drugs, smoking, spending too much, gambling, whatever behavior that keeps your life unbalanced–usually involves one or more distortions.

Example of a distortion: “I can’t quit smoking. I’ve tried before but started up again after a few weeks.”

I might follow that statement with a question like, “What would happen if you did stop?” or “What is keeping you from stopping?”

When we want to stop a harmful behavior, it’s another example of the God-implanted alarm system that tells us what we’re doing is going against His life plan for us. We are not designed to be enslaved to alcohol, junk food or prescription meds. We were made to life abundantly and joyfully, walking our life journey with our Creator.

It makes sense, then, to go to our Creator and ask for help to get rid of the behaviors that enslave us. And we do that by confessing the sin to God, who in turn will cleanse our hearts and become a part of our recovery.

Next week: The nuts and bolts of change