Make a Change

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There’s nothing about you that you need to change. Really. I believe everybody is okay the way they are, so nobody needs to change.

However, anyone who wants to change has the option to do so. What’s more, I believe that each person has all the resources within them (the insight, intelligence, motivation, etc.) in order to make the desired change.

The key is to make the change—the new behavior or activity—a habit.

When I decided to meditate daily, I knew I must make it a habit—meditation needed to be something I automatically did without a second thought. To make it automatic, I had to determine the logistics of daily meditation up front: when, where, how and how long.

Determining the where, how and how long wasn’t difficult. I found a quiet room where I could close the door and meditate undisturbed. I took a meditation class to learn about techniques and necessary supplies. Based on the instructor’s recommendations, I decided how long I wanted to meditate.

Determining the “when” was more challenging. At first, I tried to find extra time in my day to fit in 20 minutes of meditation. (If you take a close look at your day, you will most likely find pockets of time you spend doing activities that aren’t necessary such as watching TV or surfing the Internet.)

But, I didn’t have any spare time or time spent unnecessarily, so I realized I had to make the time. I had several options: I could get out of bed earlier, stay up later, take a shorter lunch break, or substitute meditation for something I was already doing. I decided to get out of bed 20 minutes earlier.
After meditating as planned for a few weeks, it became a habit—something I just did without a second thought. Over the past two years, I’ve only missed a few days.

Some experts in the field of behavior change say it often takes 30 days to establish a new habit.

Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google, has had great success with making changes in his life using a “30 day challenge”. By challenging himself to do what he has always wanted to do for 30 days, he has made behaviors into habits and accomplished goals. The key, says Cutts, is to make small, sustainable changes because they are more likely to stick. His challenge to cut sugar from his diet didn’t work long term because it wasn’t a sustainable behavior for him. However, he now bikes to work every day. And he has accomplished his goals to hike Mount Kilimanjaro and write a novel.

What have you always wanted to do? Maybe it’s time to make that change.

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