The Sneaky Way We Sabotage Ourselves When Things Are Going Well

I recently started a new small-steps habit — two minutes of breathing exercises with a resistance device, to help increase my lung capacity.

For the first couple days, it was tough. I got dizzy a few breaths in, and had to stop and breathe normally multiple times in order to get through the exercise.

Then my lungs started to adapt, and it started to feel good. All that oxygen rushing to my brain made me feel perky and alert.

I started doing it twice a day, once in the morning after I journal, and again in the afternoon, when I hit that afternoon slump. My energy levels went up. A lot.

Then I quit.

Why?

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Your Health Goals: Are They Bigger Than They Need To Be?

Do you ever feel like you make huge commitments in your health journey that you can’t keep? I know I do. But what if we stopped making grandiose, unachievable goals that we’ll inevitably fail at, and made smaller goals that will keep us improving in the long run?

I’ll give you an example.

Every year, my husband and I swear we’re going to spend less money eating out…

…and every year we spend about the same amount of money at restaurants.

At the end of the year, we always agree that we spent more money than wanted to in this budget category, and we remind ourselves of all the other things we could have spent that money on. We resolve to cook more at home. And for the first couple of months, we manage to do it. But as the year progresses, we’re eating out more and more often.

Why do we have such a hard time keeping this resolution?

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Three Minutes to Mindfulness

Mooji, by Benjamin Balazs, CC License

Mooji, by Benjamin Balazs, CC License

“I can tell you’ve been meditating,” my husband said to me. “You’ve been a lot more mindful recently.”

My first reaction was a guilty twinge. I’d been intending to meditate.  I’d even cajoled myself into a couple of three-minute sessions, where I’d sat cross-legged and been annoyed at unclear my mind seemed to be.

In other words, I’d done so little meditation, and so poorly, that it couldn’t have had any effect at all.

I hesitated to tell him what I had been doing for the past three weeks.

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How One Small Step Really Can Change Your Life

Back in January 2011, when I started this blog, I explained what I was trying to do: discover small, easy changes I could make that would significantly improve the quality of my life.

But I didn’t talk about why I felt like I needed to do it.

In June 2010, ten days after my birthday, my father died in a plane crash.

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Free Ebook: The Kaizen Plan for Reducing Holiday Stress

Is your holiday season starting to get hectic? The Kaizen Plan for Reducing Holiday Stress is full of tips for handling everything from entertaining to shopping to visiting family.

Download your free copy here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105672

Pass it on, and help someone else take control of their holiday season ten minutes at a time!

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Making Micro-Changes: Don’t Miss the Free “3 Tiny Habits” Course!

I just learned about this course from Stanford researcher B.J. Fogg called “3 Tiny Habits” — it’s like the kaizen approach to kaizen!

Fogg leads you through a free email course, in which you are asked to make three 30-second changes to your usual behavior each day for a week. Seriously. 90 seconds. If you’re not sure what habits to start, that’s okay…when you sign up for the course, you’ll get access to a list of suggestions covering every area of your life–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Wouldn’t it be worth spending 90 seconds to make a small but real change for the better?

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Is It Time to Rethink Your Routines?

I’ve never liked the idea of routines. Just saying the word makes me feel claustrophobic and trapped.

But as I pay more attention to my own behavior, I’ve realized something shocking.

I already have routines.

(Okay, maybe it’s not shocking to you. But my free-spirited self has been in denial…)

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Giveaway: The Best of Small Steps to Big Change

The Best of Small Steps to Big Change, vol 1I’ve collected the best posts of this blog, organized them by topic, and published them in an anthology: “The Best of Small Steps to Big Change, volume 1.”

Today I’m giving away a free copy to one lucky commenter at Ye Olde Inkwell, where I talk about how I got started with kaizen:

http://michellemiles.net/blog/2012/07/31/inkwell-guest-lynn-johnston-self-help-blogging/comment-page-1/

If you’d like to be entered in the drawing, please stop by and say hi!

Regards,

Lynn

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How to Recover From Mild Burnout and Get More Energy

Have you been working too hard and ignoring your body’s needs? It was probably for a good cause–taking care of a family emergency or meeting an urgent deadline–but now that the problem’s solved, how do you deal with feelings of physical, mental and/or emotional exhaustion?

Here’s my personal recipe for getting back on your feet sooner:

1. Hydrate.

Put down the coffee, tea, soda, Red Bull, or 5 Hour Energy Drink, and stick with water. Caffeine has to be processed by your liver, which leaves your liver with fewer resources for detoxifying all the residual stress chemicals and metabolic waste your cells produced when you were rushing around dealing with the emergency.

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When Your Head and Your Heart Don’t Agree, Which One Do You Listen To?

Trust your feelings, Luke.

That was Obi-Wan’s advice, and who am I to question the wisdom of a Jedi Master?

Except that there have been times in my own life when ignoring logic and following my emotions made me even more unhappy. So let’s examine Obi-Wan’s advice a little more closely. How can you tell when your emotions are leading you in the wrong directions?

I think you have to start with an understanding of how logic and emotions work together.

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Posted in Create a Kaizen Plan, Goal setting, Planning, Self-Sabotage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment