By Karin Leonard
Who, these days, has a lot of extra time to bring about changes in habits and lifestyle? It often is challenging enough to attend to “putting out the fires” and taking care of the priorities on the perpetual “to-do list.” Nevertheless, we may continue to bump into outdated patterns and behaviors that no longer work for us. However, as long as we continue to do the same things, we will end up with similar results.
Change Can be Quick…
…what often takes longer is getting ready to change, and fully implementing new patterns. We may think about changes for quite a while before they materialize. However, when we truly decide to improve something in our lives – be it quitting a habit long ago outgrown, or pursuing a cherished dream – then we are able to move mountains. Creating change is fundamentally a decision to shift what no longer works, combined with the tools to follow through, and the awareness at key moments to snap out of automatic pilot.
The Power of Habits
We are, to a great degree, creatures of habit. Believe it or not, that is actually a good thing. Doing many things automatically actually has us being highly effective. Just think about driving, for example, or the many tasks you complete on a daily basis: it would be a drag to have to do each step deliberately … shift gears, step on the gas, etc. … our streets would be even more chaotic.
So, habits are great, as long as you do those things automatically that you want to be doing. Overeating, smoking or blowing up at the people around us probably doesn’t fall into that category.
Give Choice a Chance
Life is made up of single moments, one after another, and these points in time make up our existence. It is through the hundreds of choices we make in the moments of our day that culminate to shape our destiny. The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet – the gift of choice lies in the now – that’s why they call it the present (Deepak Chopra).
The one-million-dollar questions are these: how do you want to choose in the crucial moments of your day? How will you remember to wake up from automatic pilot and to be mindful? And how can you slow down your response long enough to get to a real choice? This may just take a minute, but it is that crucial moment that decides our fate, time and time again. Through those choices we change, and we can create what we want as we tap our potential more fully.
Having had the privilege to witness countless clients transform themselves and their lives, in a relatively short period of time, I am in awe of human nature, and what we are capable of accomplishing – once we decide to do so, and believe that we can. And it is my personal mission (and sincerest pleasure) to be in service of this marvelous process of human evolution.
Karin H. Leonard is a clinical hypnotherapist, professional life coach and seminar leader, with 27 years of experience in coaching, hypnosis, NLP and conducting workshops. Offices in Santa Cruz.