Day 1 Be Present: Habits and Rewards

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Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

This is Day 1! Let’s take a quick minute to congratulate ourselves for moving forward, for deciding to move off of our comfort zone that is really not so comfortable it turns out. This is exciting! Our affirmation today is :

Affirmation: “I am in charge of my life. I am making changes every day towards more peace and harmony”. Say it as often as we can (10 times three or five times a day?), write it down on a scrap of paper, write it on our mirror, journal about it, visualize it, whatever it takes to ingrain it.

I am lazy. I am more comfortable laying in bed than running in the dark and cold. I would rather eat pop tarts than make healthy meals. A night without kids means I can have cookies for dinner in my PJ pants on the couch. I could be a female version of Jim Gaffigan who has a love/hate relationship with Hot Pockets and sweatpants (YouTube him next time you are grumpy, he is a funny clean comic). Many Mondays, if I think about work before I get out of bed, it is extremely difficult to overcome the anxiety and get to the tea cabinet. Left to my own brain, I am a slug (minus the slime).

I think I am not alone. Who wouldn’t rather eat junk food all day (preferably delivered by a faceless person as I lay on the couch). If not for the firm rewards-based consciousness, we would out-weigh our couches and have credit card debt past our earlobes.

In order to make new habits, I must have reward-focused thoughts (Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. This is a great book- I highly recommend it.)

So, I think about the conversations and the laughs I will have with my girlfriends (or the podcast I will listen to alone while social distancing) when I get out of bed at 5:45 am to run (or the sunrise, or the shower gel, or maybe even a doughnut). I think about the quiet space I will have if I start early at work and arrive at my desk by 7:00 (no shower?). I think about how much more energy and easier digestion I will have if I eat more vegetables than carbs.

As humans, we have a need for immediate gratification; in this fast-paced lifestyle, unspecific goals with delayed rewards just don’t work as well (Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg).

Breakthrough Action–Just very generically today, think over: -What immediate rewards will you enjoy if you make an effort towards peace of mind?

-What will it feel like to worry a little less about the things outside our control?

-Will it allow us to add levity to our day?

-Will more daily presence allow us to be more creative? Less critical of our kids? More accepting of others’ faults?

-Will it make breathing easier? (some days, this is a big one for me!)

(Tomorrow we will get more specific, because Charles Duhigg says immediate specific rewards work even better. Today is the beginning baby steps though, so just hang on Lady!).

Visualize it:  Is the peace of mind a golden haze surrounding you? Or maybe a warm ocean enveloping you? A warm fire within? See it and feel it.

Take just 4-5 minutes and write down the rewards YOU can enjoy if you change a few “worry” habits into peaceful nourishing habits. Can you think of 5 rewards? How will it feel to live with more peace of mind? How valuable is that? What would it mean to you?

Now go back and read/write/draw the Visualization. And start your day!

(this is a really good 15 minutes, just for you, see you tomorrow 😉

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