How To Create Lasting Change

When we’re looking to make a change within ourselves and our habits, creating structures, using tools, and executing TANGIBLE actions towards these desires are necessary.
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What’s a structure? A structure is a framework we erect to support a desired outcome.
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For example, an individual may want to improve their physical health by diet and exercise. A structure they put up can be their gym bag placed in front of the front door so they are reminded to bring it with them when they leave the house.
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What old structures would need to be demolished? Perhaps canceling their subscription on their monthly snack box is something they can consider. Removing the candy bowl from their work desk. Etc.
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At work, we have to create yearly goals that contribute to the improvement of our groups and teams. They do this by having us write S.M.A.R.T goals. I’m sure if you’ve worked in a corporate setting, you’ve heard of this before.
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Let’s use anger as an example. When you want to change the way you react to situations, simply just reminding yourself not to be angry when a heated situation occurs is futile.
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If we put this through a SMART goal template it can look like this:
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“I will improve my reactions to heated situations in three month’s time so that I can heal my relationships with friends and family while increasing my emotional intelligence.
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My success will be measured by the calm way I speak in situations that would normally anger me in the past”.
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Here is a suggested list of tangible actions one can take to become less angry:
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1. Write a list of anger triggers and review how often those triggers come up for you.

Even putting this list up in a place where you can see it can be a structure you erect that can gently remind you to be aware of your emotions.

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2. Create a self-care morning routine.

I have noticed a vast improvement within myself because I have worked towards waking up early enough to give myself an hour for self-care.
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Number 4 and 5 of this list are two of the things I do EVERY morning in order to create new connections in my brain.

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3. Re-parent yourself.
Let me remind you, there is a HUGE difference between self-care and pampering. Self-care is not always bubble baths and puppy cuddles.
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Self-care is parenting yourself. Imagine you are providing care for a child who is always exhausted, angry, irritable, and needs loving discipline.
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This child will need a parent who will create structure in their life:
a. Teach them to sleep at a reasonable time so they wake up refreshed.
b. Minimize their screen time.
c. Provide them with nutritious meals because their gut health is important to their mental health.
d. Showing them healthy boundaries.
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4. Meditation
I know a lot of people who read this will probably groan and say they don’t know how to meditate or they suck at it.
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A lot of people get discouraged when they make efforts to meditate because they think “meditating right” looks like this:

But this is what it looks like for ME:

Sorry for the iStock logo. Lol, the title of this is “Frustrated Asian Businessman With Closed Eyes Stock Photo”

The purpose of sitting in meditation is so you can face all the loud chatter in your mind and then observe them without judgment. Then you can work on bringing your mind to stillness. Then you’ll slip into loud chatter again. Then you kindly bring your mind to stillness. Rinse. Repeat.

5. Journaling.

Journaling has been such a monumental tool for my growth.
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These are the prompts I’ve written which I use for journaling:
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a. Five things I’m grateful for
b. One trait that my future self will have.
c. Today I will get past my mind by…
d. My affirmation of the day.
e. What an I do today to align with my future self?
f. What stretch opportunity can I take to challenge myself?
g. Today I am proud of myself for…
h. What is one unnecessary thing I can unplug my energy from so I can bring bring that power back to myself?
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6. Exercise
Of course we know the huge benefits of exercise and moving the body. It relieves stress, releases pent up energy, good for our hearts, etc.
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7. Answer this question: what kind of structures would need to be erected or demolished for someone who wants to be less angry?
For my morning routine structure, I’ve placed my meditation pillow on the side of my bed and my journal and pen on my nightstand. I also set an alarm at 9 pm so I can start winding down for the night.
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Some structure suggestions: writing affirmations and placing them randomly around the house, setting alarms throughout the day for an emotion or body check, etc.
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8. Be consistent
Start small. Work your way up. Challenge yourself every day. Make sure that you make small changes that are different from yesterday. TANGIBLE is key.