sometimes letting go means adding in…

Dear Mind, 
I really love you but your negative thoughts are getting me down.
If you would be so kind, get the broom out...it's time to clean up.
Thanks, Me

I want to stop negative thoughts….Like now…I’d like them to just go away like garbage. I decided I’m done with them. I’m on week 3 of marathon training, day 18 of the #100abs challenge and Day 1 of Negative Thought Takedown (#NTT). My goal for #NTT is to change some of my negative thinking and reduce the amount of energy I spend on it.

We all have them. Negative thoughts are easy to dwell on. Although I fly through some days without a care in the world, other days I can’t get out of my own head. I’ve decided to try the add-in-the-good method I talked about. For #NTT, I’m going to practice meditation and focus on good thoughts and gratitude.

According to Barbara Markway, Ph.D.,  forming a habit likely takes more than 21 days. Instead of a time limit, she suggests 6 stages are more effective.

1. Pre-contemplation: It’s the non-action state, one that you’re getting an inkling something isn’t right.

Markway offers the tip, “Recognize you may feel safe in this stage—you may not be happy, but it’s familiar.” I’ve been meeting with a life coach and occasionally going to counseling for years tweezing through negative thoughts. I would say I have completed this step. So, let’s move on.

2. Contemplation: This is a place for thinking about a change.

I’ve been here for a bit. I’m well aware my negative thoughts are a limiting factor in my life. But I’ve had several of the thoughts Markway mentions as typical for this stage; I’ve said all of the following, out loud and in my head: “I want to change, but I don’t know how…I don’t know if I’m ready yet…I feel stuck”. Parkway says, “Visualize your life if you don’t make the change or develop the new, good habit you’re considering. What will your life be like in one year if you’re still struggling the way you are now?”

3. Preparation:  More thinking, a decision to act and some planning time.

I’m on step 3 and lucky you, I’m writing a post about it.

Here are Markway’s tips for preparation:

  • Write out a list of the benefits of overcoming your problem or developing this new good habits. Carry this list with you and read it often. 
  • Realize that once you move into action, you’ll need to do about extra time and enjoy energy to carry out your plan. Make any necessary attachments adjustments to your schedule. 
  • Set a date for when you will institute your plan of action. To capitalize on the high-energy level that typically occurs at this point in the change process, make the date sooner rather than later.
  • Write out your plan. If it’s in writing, you’re more likely to follow it. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated.

Benefits: More happiness, better relationships, sleeping more soundly, more success!

Time Commitment: One minute day to start, building to 30 minutes.

Starting date: Today! January 18, 2019

Plan: Using meditation, focus on positive thoughts and/or gratitude for 30 minutes a day. Beginning January 18. Meditate 1 minute/day adding one minute each subsequent day.

4. Action: The how of your plan. The “nuts and bolts”.

Extra help: I’m going to use the Simply Being App to build up my meditation time.  Currently, I’m able to sit about 2 minutes without distraction. I need a little help.

Final goal: Meditate 30 minutes daily

5. Maintenance: Making the changes you’ve made permanent.

At 30 days, I’m hoping to have formed a good new habit. Over the next month, I will work on setting aside a specific time of day. That will help me make a habit of 30 minutes of meditation.

6. Termination: “In the termination stage, there is essentially no longer a problem…”

30 days is up on February 15, 2019. I know negative thoughts will come up, it’s natural to have them. They’re just not welcome to be my main thoughts in my future. With my #negativethoughtstakedown, I’m just going to push some of the bad out with the good.

some resources…

6 Stages and 16 Tips for Developing Good Habits

Mastering Your Mind: How to Eliminate Negative Thoughts From Your Life Once and For All | BY ORA NADRICH Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

Laura Todd Leading with an open heart ♡

January 19, 2019

Paula Stokes

I love feeling good. I'm on a mission to feel well and sharing that info with you along the way.

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