Brain Change

Focus on life through a simplified mind

How to KILL a Bad Habit

Alcohol, tobacco, overeating, shopping, gambling, caffeine….Need I go on?

How do we rationalize in our minds that it is ok to keep taking part in self destructive behavior? 

You know this habit is killing you slowly one day at a time.  So what is it that keeps us going back?

We  must take back control of our minds and bodies and no longer be held hostage by habits that do not provide us with health and peace in our soul.

Heres How

1) Aknowledge that there is a problem.  Before you can ever go about fixing something you must understand that it is indeed broke.  You cannot start a battle with your bad habit if you really don’t consider it bad.  We must shine light on the cockroaches so that we may start to formulate a plan on how to get rid of them.  Ignoring the problem wont make it go away on its own. 

2) Accountability. Let your friends know that you are stopping the habit, make a deal with your spouse/children, post it online to a community of people.  We must use the help of those that love us to be responsible for our decisions.  Once we have declared publicy our intent there is a powerful urge to uphold our commitment.  It may not be all you need to make it through but it will give you a good push in the right direction.

3) Prepare for cravings!  Yes you mind with try to trick you into thinking “just this one time.  As soon as you start to do something different, our brains go into panic mode.  This evolutionary trait we all have is what Seth Godin terms the “lizard brain”.  It is the part of the mind that has alway been looking out for predators, keeping us safe when we where out with the wild animals.  The lizard brain never left us, it is there dormant until we start doing something different, something new, the lizard brain doesnt understand whats happening it just sends your body into overdrive trying to go back to what it feels is “normal” or “safe”.  After years of developing a habit your prehistoric brain considers it “safe”.  So before you will “kill” the habit your want to.  Understand that there will be powerful cravings driving you back to the status quo.  We must prepare ourselves for the fight to get through these cravings.

4) Substitute a positive habit.  One of the methods of preparing is to have a new habit to do when you get the craving.  Excercise, Healthy Eating, Writing, Drawing, whatever it is.  Choose something positive that causes you to take your focus off your craving when you do have one.  What could be better than using a good habit to help you abstain from a bad one.

5) Persistence is key, you must be as stubborn as a mule.  You may not succeed the first time but understand you will succeed.  Know in your heart and soul you MUST succeed and be persistent about succeeding.  Use these steps and realize every day for the rest of your life you may have to battle the urge.  Urges come in waves, some are stronger and bigger but they will pass.  We must be able to ride the wave out knowing there will be an end to it.

If you persist and impose your will over your habit.  Sometime around the 3-4 week mark of abstaining you will find relief, it will be as a cool rainshower on your soul.  Coming to the understanding that you will no longer be held hostage to your habit is one of the best natural feelings of euphoria out there.  When you get to this point.  You have metaphorically taken your habit out in the field and shot it.  Congratulations your free

What other suggestions do you have about changing a habit?

What habits have you conquered so far in life?

I would love to hear your thoughts

Please share this if you think it may help someone.

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October 31, 2010 Posted by | motivation | , , , | Leave a comment

Another great find!

Guys I have been doing a lot of reading lately finding authors that are ahead of me in the game of life/bloggin/minimalism.  The most recent e-book I have read is by Henri Juntilla called ”Passionate Living a simple guide to doing what you love”. Click here to view more details. Henri has made a living online Playing poker, designing websites, blogging, and writing books.  Henri persuades us to take on the challenge to find your passion in life and do it.  He outlines how each of us can find our niche passion and either monetize it or not.  The money doesn’t matter living your passion does.  If your interested in blogging part time or becoming a full time web wizard.  Henri will give you a push in the right direction.  I found the content very uniform with what im doing if you think you may be interested as well Click here .  Yes the links are affiliate links and if you buy you will be supporting both Henri and I.  Henri also runs the blog http://www.wakeupcloud.com

October 15, 2010 Posted by | motivation | , , | 1 Comment

“The art of being minimalist”

I recently have purchased and read this e-book titled, “THE ART OF BEING MINIMALIST”. by author Everett Bogue.  Everett is a hardcore minimalist living with almost no possesions and making his living online, living wherever he wants to live.    Everett outlines his journey toward minimalism and shows you how you too can start living a more fullfilling life.  Everett also gives you advice on how to de-clutter your life, how to be more productive at work, How to start to make the changes in your life that will impact you the most and give you joy.  I highly recomend this book you can get a copy by clicking the link Click here to visit Everett Bogue.  I must let you know that this is an affiliate link and you will be supporting Everett’s writing as well as my own.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bedroom closet complete

Finally!! I did it I took on the bedroom closet and got this monster put to bed.  Since posting in a previous blog that I was going to tackle it I have procrastinated and rationalized and let it fester until I was almost causing myself a brain tumor in worry.  The closet had become a huge mental stressor.  My bedroom closet is a huge walk-in and (was) packed from floor to ceiling with every item thats ever needed a place out of sight.  It was also completely filled with loads of clothing that my wife and I never wore.  I finally got the courage to make it happen using the approach recomended by most decluttering/minimalist authors.  I spent an hour unloading the closet completly taking everything out of it and I gave it a good scrubdown and vacuuming.  I then started sifting through the pile and decided on each item. 

KEEP/TOSS/SELL. 

I probably could have filed another pile for donate but most items that were in the toss pile would have made me feel funny to try to donate it was junk old paper cardboard boxes torn and ripped clothing among other things.  It didnt seem right for me to donate my trash just to feel good about donating.

The items in the sell pile were items that I could list on E-bay right now.  What food/shelter/donation place would like to be handing out old I-pods to the needy?  it just didnt feel right donating consumerist items to less fortunate people perpetuating the myth in society that “stuff” will make you happy. 

Enough on that, I placed everthing I wanted to keep back into the closet one item at a time deciding on each piece do I need this? will I need this? (winter clothes,xmas decorations).  If not it was put in a pile and taken outside immediatley, or taken to a bin that I could start listing items on e-bay.  I filled the back of my pickup full of crap, I could not believe how much junk had piled up in that room. 

I am nowhere near what a true master declutterer or minimalist would be I still kept way to many t-shirts, way to many dress shirts, I did however reduced my dress pants down to two pair from around 10.  I also kept a collection of basketball/football/baseball cards some trophys me and my wife have won over the years and all the photographs we had stored in the closet.  I am just not ready mentally to let go of certain things.  Perhaps as I continue to reduce my lifestyle and consumption needs I will find a way to keep these memories but get rid of the physical items.

Overall the closet being done has been a huge success as it has lifted the burden of an undone task from my mind. 

What struggles are you having with decluttering?  I would love to hear how you have dealt with issues that come up when you start clearing your life of “stuff”.

Please share this if you think it will help someone.

October 13, 2010 Posted by | decluttering, minimalism | , , | Leave a comment

Credit card no more

Three days ago I locked up my credit cards.  My wife and I decided to no longer carry a card and use cash only.  Am I crazy for no longer packing a card for “emergencies”?  I do not think so.  In short here is why I think we made a great decision.

It is to tempting to pull out your card for impulse buying and non emergency spending.

Yesterday I was going to take a friend to lunch,  I stopped when I realized I no longer carry a credit card with me and I had no cash on me.  Yes i went out into the world without cash or a credit card and I survived!  The result?  I could not take my friend out to lunch which may have cost me some good conversation but it also saved me around $25.  I am not advocating never buying a good friend a meal I am just saying since I didnt have my card or cash on hand, I ended up keeping $25 more dollars of my next paycheck to myself. 

You spend more when you use plastic

When I am at a restaraunt paying for a meal with a card I usually add the standard 15% tip regardless of the service and for small price meals i have even placed a standard $5 tip on my card for a $10 meal.   Dave Ramsey who wrote the Total Money Makeover explains that your brain does not associate what the “real” cost of goods are when you just write a number down and place your signature on the dotted line.  Dave mentions that there is  pain associated with handing over cold hard cash that forces your brain to challenge the value of the item or items you are buying and you will find by using cash you will not  “need” all the extra items when you hit the grocery store. 

But I have the self control to watch my spending on my card

No you can’t, the siren song of retailers, the marketing juggernaut of credit companies, or the rationalization of your own mind will in fact entice you to make a simple purchase here and there and you will slip.  One month you will wake up with more on your card than you can afford to pay.  And you will be stuck with items that probably didn’t provide you happiness and continue to accrue interest on top of the original purchase price.  The only cure for this cancer is to cut it out.  Stop using credit at all costs.

So with what I have just outlined until further notice I will be using cash only along with a debit card and only buy the essentials.   This I hope will help us further along the path of reducing consumerism that has plagued us for all of our life.  And help us focus more on what really matters in life.

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October 6, 2010 Posted by | minimalism, Personal Finance | , , | 2 Comments

   

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