I would like to suggest that some changes can be fun to do. Generally speaking, when we think about habit change, we think “negative” habits, am I right?
Procrastination and disorganized paperwork top the negative habit lists. During the holiday season, the discussion of “too much” calorie intake often takes center stage to, “Watch out bad habits, here I come.”
We all know changing habits takes intention, persistence and work, so we won’t go there in this article. Let’s focus on positive changes, making your New Year’s resolutions different.
Overhearing comments by a fellow colleague who was arriving in the meeting I was also attending, she was all smiles and getting compliments left and right. I later learned, she had decided to “break out” from her usual norm. Instead of wearing her hair up, she wore it down. Instead of wearing the same kind of outfits and monotone colors she usually wore, she was wearing something a little more trendy and upbeat.
What was really striking about her was her attitude. She was having fun. Inspired by a TV program about what to wear, she was struck with the idea of “I think I will change what I normally wear.” By doing so, she had uplifted her spirits and changed the physiology in her brain in positive ways.
Simply by changing the colors we wear, driving different directions and shifting and changing our daily routines, we keep our brain more active, alert and even increase our self-esteem. Below are 8 suggestions that will shift your neurological senses, re-invigorate your imaginations and cue the brain to awake up and be more in the moment. ”Changes can be fun,” I say. They can make us feel good and give us new perspectives in seeing ourselves and the world differently.
And for those of you who are suffering from, “I still hate Daylight Savings Time,” try these ideas below or come up with your own creative changes.
1. Give yourself a new hairdo. Part your hair on the opposite side. Wear a style that is flattering, but create a style opposite of what you normally wear. Add a hair piece or use colored chalk highlights in your hair. Get punky or funky.
2. Paint your finger nails in a bolder color then you normally wear, just because you can. I used a different color to remind me of a specific habit I was trying to change. This became my secret anchor and no one knew the real reason. I got positive comments about my color change for weeks and each compliment reinforced my secret habit change goal!
3. You wear perfume or cologne? Try a scent-free day. Notice that you will still be smelling just fine. Shampoos and conditioners already smell and often our clothing is still scented from previous wearing. Just notice, that you smell pretty good without those extra daily doses. This will give your sense of smell a break and a chance to really smell the roses.
4. Go through your jewelry/accessories collection and pick out a piece that you haven’t worn in months. Make this your focal point. Accentuate your outfit with a special scarf or belt, but make it something you haven’t worn in a long time.
5. Get hot and spicy. Wear a hot lipstick color or a hot colored bright or bold shirt/blouse. Who cares if it is in the middle of winter? Make a statement. Colors lift up our spirits for a reason. Our brain is very visual and responds well to vibrant colors.
6. Drive a different route to work or to places you normally go. Mostly, change your routine. Your brain will not be on autopilot and forced to be more focused and present. Turn off your GPS and use a map (just a suggestion).
7. Compliment five people that you meet throughout the day. Thank them for a good deed or service well done. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them or the great service they provided. Make them feel special. Look for the good that people are doing. Your focus will be searching for the positive, another neurological shift.
8. Tell yourself throughout the day, how lucky you are that to “get to” do something; that task or errand. Notice how it sounds easier to do and less of a chore when you say, “I get to” versus “I have to” — because the truth is, we have choices.