Top 5 Actionable Ways to Change Old Patterns
Our experiences shape us. Throughout our life journey we experience many ups and downs some of which are so profound they change who we become. However, it is important to remember that it is not what happens to us in life but rather how we react that makes all the difference. Some people will allow their negative experiences to weigh them down while others look for ways to make the best out of their situation. Below are some helpful and actionable tips to change old patterns and get you back on your feet.
1. Take a Step Back and Identify Your Behavior
The reason you have come to your situation is because you have made a series of decisions that got you there. Often times we like to blame others for the mistakes that we have made in our lives but at the end of the day we are responsible for not only our choices but also our consequences. Taking some time to reflect on your choices will help you determine patterns of behavior that brought you to your troubled situation. Once you are able to identify those patterns you can then start to correct them. Reflecting the on the patterns we have identified and improving on them will help us to make better choices in the future.
2. Develop Critical Thinking Skills
Learning to make better decisions is an essential life skill. This really isn’t so hard if you know what you want. In fact, the reason making decisions is so hard is often because we don’t know what we want or how a particular decision might impact our lives. Below are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to making decisions:
- Never make a decision when you are emotionally charged whether happy or sad
- Never make a decision when you are hungry
- Take a good 24 hours to make any big decision
- Never agree to something when you are not sure if it the right thing for you
- Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into a decision.
- Never make a decision based only on one factor
When you are ready to make a decision, start by weighing out your options and identifying the pros and cons of both. One helpful tool is to write out your problem, options, and potential consequences associated with each decision. You may want to take it a step further and rank each decision so you know what the risks of each are and how they will impact your quality of life.
3. Create a Vision for Yourself
This can be a fun art project for you and your friends. You can sort through all of your favorite lifestyle magazines and websites to find pictures that align with your interests. Then paste all of your cut outs on a board just how you like it. This is a very therapeutic and meditative exercise to help you identify what you truly want to accomplish in your life. It can include both short term and long term goals. This exercise will also help you in making choices that align directly with your vision making it easy to say no to anything that does not.
4. Get a Mentor
It is important to always have people in your life that you can look up to. Finding someone you can talk to and help guide you in the right direction will really help you to get back on your feet. Sometimes we can get really bogged down by our own thoughts and actions. Many of us also struggle with seeing outside of ourselves and identifying our own patterns of behavior. Talking to another person can also help you to hone in on your priorities and propel you through your goals. It can be someone you know and look up to, a life coach that you hire, a therapist who can offer helpful coping skills, or even through talks, podcasts, books, seminars.
5. Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body
Over analyzing just complicates things, making them worse, not better. Take some time everyday to exercise. In fact, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can include any of your favorite hobbies such as dancing, walking, hiking, yoga, cycling, or anything else that interests you. The idea is to keep your body moving. Studies show incontrovertible evidence that regular physical activity reduces risks of chronic diseases as well as depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins and energizes the body so you can improve your mood and work toward your goals.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Everyone goes through ups and downs throughout their journey. Allow yourself to process the emotions of whatever you are going through but make sure to also continue to take action on improving your life.
What are some of your tips for changing old patterns? Leave a comment below.
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