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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Five Habits to Become a Better You

by Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS


For those of you who prefer the short version, here it is: Be intentional. Be grateful.

Take time to consider each of these habits. Plan some time to work on this over a number of days. Why are you hoping to make this change? What are the positive outcomes that you hope to have as a result of this change? What are the negative outcomes that you hope to eliminate from your life? Why do you want to do this now? Write down these reasons and keep  . They will help you continue to take the steps required to make the change you desire to make in your life.

1) Determine what it is you want to work on. Really take time to consider it. Here are some questions to get you started:

What is tugging at your heart? What is something you are striving to be or want to be? What would complete an "I am _________" positive statement that you want to work toward? Do you want to be confident or patient or prayerful....?

Take time to really consider this. Think on it, pray over it.

Then, Set an intention... A general positive statement. (Please note: an intention is not a resolution. Resolutions are more specific. Intentions are more overarching. For example: Intention: I will eat in a healthy way. Resolution: I will lose X pounds by Y date.)

2) How do you want to impact the world? What is the way your intention will "show up" when you interact with other people? Think about it. Then select a "word" to give to the world, to your family, your friends, people you meet. Will you give them compassion? a hug? How will you do it? Use a certain phrase when you leave people? Start thanking everyone who helps you, from the bank teller to the cashier to the oil change guy, etc.? 

Doing this helps your intention have a concrete manifestation, something you can notice that you are doing or not doing, or doing more often (or less often!) than you used to. Again, keep it simple and take some time to ponder this. If what you select at first doesn't work or needs to be adjusted, then do that. The most important thing is to work at doing or saying something noticeable that is related to your intention, is a fruit of it in some way.

3) Consider what you want to leave behind. Write it down, then burn that paper - safely, of course.  What situation, relationship, attitude or belief that isn't serving you? What is weighing you down? What burdens do you want to let go of?

4) Gratitude is such a gift. Being grateful changes our perspective. As you set this intention and work to improve yourself, take time to honour someone you lost in the last year or so. It can be someone who died or someone who left to go to college or join the military or who moved away. One way to express it is to give a toast to him or her (can be wine or sparkling apple cider...). Make a tribute to this person or these people who have been close to you, someone who has made a powerful, significant, impact on your life. Take time to really consider the blessings you have received by having him/her/them in your life for the time you did.

5) Make an event out of the toast. Dress up. Perhaps gather with others. Do it at a meal, or on an outing. Invite them to join you in doing this.  If you like, you can end that gathering by stating your intentions. Often our desires to grow are inspired by those people who blessed our lives so your intention may well be something your beloved person taught you by the way s/he/they lived.

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