Happy New Year everyone! What a wonderful time for us all to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. Somewhere in time we all decided we could do that on New Years day.
I would like to propose a further option – wipe the slate clean when needed. Anytime is a good time to let go of old habits and thought patterns which do not contribute to the very best you.
When you hit a destructive patch, find yourself complaining, aggravated, irritated, angry, coughing your lungs out, suffering a hangover, eating just because, etc…. STOP for a moment, yell STOP to yourself, and consciously breathe in a few good cleansing breaths and remind yourself that you CAN wipe the slate clean NOW no matter how destructive your behaviour has been up to now. If you are coughing your lungs out due to smoking you can put it all in the past by quitting. You can quit on the spot or make a plan and follow it. It is just a decision. If you are in the midst of road rage remind yourself that how you feel is YOUR responsibility and you can choose not to feel personally assaulted by inconsiderate drivers. Those particular examples are just two of my biggies that are now in the past. Phew.
The key to changing destructive behaviour is to STOP for a moment and (1) breathe right into your belly so you have a chance at clear thinking and (2) CHOOSE another, healthier response to employ in the future. Repeat 1 & 2 as needed. Backsliding happens. No need to beat yourself up over it (another unhealthy habit).
New Year provides us a great stopping/starting place but it doesn’t happen nearly often enough! Remember, you can put the past in the past at any time at all and start fresh. You may like to start each day with a reminder – Today I start fresh – right here, right now I can wipe the slate clean and start anew.
I’m not saying there won’t still be residual affects from the past behaviour, just that you can start each day with improved behaviour which will translate into improved tomorrows. Even just the intention of doing so will help you to the next step. But remember, the quality of your life is up to you. Period.
So I hope you will join me in my new year resolution to (1) STOP and breathe when I find my thoughts and actions running counter to my own best interests and (2) CHOOSE to employ a healthier response from that time forward.