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New Habits, New You

Written by: Eleanor Oliver-Edmonds, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Whenever you choose to change something about yourself or your environment, it can be both exhilarating and terrifying. First, you declare what you want, go after it with gusto, and then about a week later, you hit the wall. Why despite your best intentions, do you struggle to muster the conviction and motivation to keep going?


One of the reasons I believe people struggle in their attempts to change something about themselves, either mentally or physically, is because we have been taught to objectify our personal goals; we treat them as a line item to be checked off, and once completed, move on to the next.

You may have been told to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals to help you stay on track; this advice may inadvertently contribute even more to your frustration. The SMART model is ideally suited for project-based tasks performed by groups or teams. It’s an effective accountability and tracking tool for those purposes but it in my opinion is an ineffective method when you seek to reinvent or reimagine yourself.


Setting personal transformational goals requires you to make behavior changes from beginning to end. Line item tasks or steps won’t help you evolve, you will need to adopt new habits, routines, and rituals today that are congruent with your future self. In order to become the next-level version of you, you must start acting like the next-level you. Yes, even before you’re ready. Adopting this mindset leap will become one of the trusted tools in your toolkit; it will help you maintain your focus, track results and serve as guardrails as you pursue your vision. That is the how. Next, it is important to understand your why.


The very act of reinventing or reimagining yourself creates an inner turmoil; who you are today is in conflict with who you wish to become. Neuroscience expert Dr. Joe Dispenza states, “If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.” Simply said, your old ways of doing things will not get you to where you want to go; it’s simply not possible otherwise you would already have what you want.


Creating A New Version of You


Have you ever found yourself rehearsing an important conversation to make sure you felt comfortable and at ease before actually doing it? You may have even practiced what the other person would say until you were no longer nervous and could confidently express yourself. The process of creating a new version of you is much the same. You have to see and live this persona in your mind before actually doing so in reality.


Here’s how to create your 360-degree image of who you want to become. During this first process, you will identify why this change is important to you, and outline the traits necessary to help you evolve. For best results, set aside 15-20 minutes to journal your answers. Provide as much detail as possible but do not overthink this; the goal here is for you to connect mentally and emotionally to the reimagined version of yourself. Play big and show up for yourself. As you write your answers to the following questions, see yourself from the future having successfully achieved what you want:

  • What traits does your future persona have that you need to acquire?

  • What old behaviors and beliefs did you need to surrender?

  • How has your life changed?

  • Who are the role models you followed to shape your transformation?

  • What sacrifices did you have to make?

  • What is the greatest reward you gained through the process?

  • Who else benefits from your transformation?

  • How do other people relate to you?

  • What areas of your life are impacted by this change? (health, relationships, career, finance, lifestyle and spirituality

Curating Your Habit Profile


With your future persona locked in; your next step is to build your habit profile. In the words of author Octavia Butler, “Forget inspiration. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.” This is where conventional goal setting misses the mark; your current behaviors will always produce the same results, regardless of how hard you push yourself. This is likely the root of frustration or moments where you make feel like you’ve failed. You haven’t failed, the process failed you.


To achieve your future identity, you will need to curate and adopt new habits and behaviors to increase your likelihood of success. Using your newly created 360-identity, take a few minutes to answer the following:

  • What current habits do you have that support this identity?

  • What habits do you have to adopt?

  • List 5-7 new habits essential to achieving your future vision

  • Identify obstacles or old thinking that may conflict with these new habits

  • What is the toughest challenge to adopting this new habit? Why?

  • Who will you need to bring on board to support your habit? (trainer, mentor, coach, advisor, accountability partner)

  • Who in your life will resist this habit as much as your old self?

  • Identify 3 key people likely to support your new habit(s)

  • What sabotaging behavior or triggers do you need to eliminate (procrastination, self-doubt, perfectionism, avoidance)

  • Identify the top 2 habits you can incorporate right now

It’s best to break down your newly desired habits into daily increments and if necessary, by half-day or hourly. You can do anything for short spurts of time, right? Utilize habit stacking or layering to the group and build upon similar activities or tasks. Focus on one day at a time. Even the smallest habit practiced daily creates a routine that, when repeated consistently over time builds into a compound effect often yielding desired results much quicker. Allow for modifications to your routines, to avoid disruption when traveling, or your work or health changes.


You may also want to enlist the help of a trusted friend to be your accountability partner to help you stay on track and to cheer you on as you celebrate your accomplishments along the way.


Lastly, create meaningful rituals to accelerate a rapid shift in a specific area of your life (fitness, personal development, wellness, mindset, etc). Rituals are a sacred time where you ideally show up yourself and focus on a specific area of growth aligned with your big-picture vision.


If making changes were easy there wouldn’t be a need for habit trackers, coaches, personal trainers, etc. You have the power to change your life, improve your situation, or adapt to a new environment by shifting one small habit and repeating it daily over an extended period of time. In the wise words of poet John Dryden, “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” Show yourself grace on your transformation journey as change doesn’t happen overnight; it happens over many nights. With this process you cannot fail as each morning you have an opportunity to begin anew.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


 

Eleanor Oliver-Edmonds, Brainz Magazine Executive Contributor

Elle (Eleanor) Oliver-Edmonds is a writer, speaker, and certified virtual coach. She pivoted from her advertising/marketing career as a creative strategist crafting consumer-directed messaging for top household brands and applied her creative problem-solving expertise to coaching individuals.


She’s the founder and creator of the S.H.I.F.T. Factor, an online transformational space where Elle empowers women over 40 to reconnect with their dreams, overcome barriers, and strategize a path to success. The five-part inside-out process is based on the guiding principles, tools, and resources Elle successfully used to reimagine and redesign her own life after losing of job, marriage, home, and business.


She now lives a life where every day looks like a vacation. She relocated from hectic city life in Los Angeles to the Palm Desert area where she lives with her husband and is affectionately referred to as “Coach Elle in Coachella” by her clients. Elle is the proud mom of two entrepreneurs who inspire her to follow her passion of living with intention and creating a ripple effect.

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