You are an accumulation of your habits. From how you get out of bed, how you shower, how you dress, how you shop for food and eat meals, how you exercise, how you walk, sit, and talk, how you respond to the world, how you act in front of others, and how you think; you are living out your habits.
Habits are necessary. Because they typically come naturally and automatically ("through habit"), they free up your mind so you can concentrate on how to survive day to day. You don't have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don't have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you're going.
Unfortunately, habits can also keep you locked in self-destructive patterns, which will limit your success.
This is especially true during stressful periods, like holidays. And compounding the holiday season this year is the current economic downturn we're all experiencing.
It's probably going to last longer than a season, infringing upon people's aspirations and optimism for 2009. People are facing job loss, foreclosures, higher bills, lower incomes...and yet those holiday expectations loom large. This is when it's far too easy to let bad habits take over and multiply with every holiday symbol that you see.
What's the secret to surviving this holiday season, bring in the new year feeling fantastic--physically and emotionally--and have more confidence in the future?
You will need to drop those bad habits and develop new ones that are in line with the life you want to live. This will help you to get through the holidays cheerfully and embrace 2009 with high hopes. People don't suddenly appear in the life they want to live, habits determine their outcome!
So ask yourself, what are the habits you have that are keeping you from achieving your goals? Which ones seem to become magnified during the end of the year, setting you up for feeling behind and lousy come January 1st?
Really be honest with yourself. Are you always running late? Do you make promises you can't keep? Do you get enough sleep? Do you make excuses for not eating well and scheduling exercise? Do you plan out your day?
Imagine what your life would be like if all those habits were their productive counterparts.
What would your life be like if you ate healthy meals, exercised and got enough sleep? What if you saved money, stopped using credit cards and paid cash for everything? What if you stopped procrastinating, overcame your fears, and began networking with people in your field? Would your life be different? I bet it would!
So, my suggested action step for you is to write down some productive habits you could adopt and visualize in your life. Step two is to "act as if" you were living these new habits right now!
I know, you thought you wouldn't have to do this until New Year's, but I'd like to help you get moving toward creating more successful habits today, so you're already in motion when 2009 lands.
I'd recommend you plan on developing four of your new success habits each year, one for each quarter. That means right this instant you can map out which four you intend to adopt in 2009, and then create a method that will support your new habits.
Here are some ideas: You could write it down on a card that you keep with you and read several times a day. You could make it a part of your daily visualization. You could also enlist the help of an accountability partner who has habits to change.
It's important to make a 100% commitment to each of your new habits, so be specific about the steps that you're willing to take in order to drop an old habit and adopt a new one.
Don't be vague about how you will change your habits. Spell it out for yourself so you can recognize situations that motivate you to act out your new habit.
Just developing four new habits a year will dramatically shift your life to be more in line with your vision. And the more in line it becomes, the easier the other habits are to replace because your perspective is shifting and you can see more clearly how your old habits aren't serving you anymore.
Don't let the economic forecast for the next several months impede your movement forward. Get ready for 2009 today. Focus on habits that will launch you forward, not back.
Make the decision. Make the commitment. Then watch your new, positive life unfold!
© 2008 Jack Canfield
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