Aug. 25, 2022

Here's Some Magic for Changing Your Habits

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could activate every change that you desired for yourself? This episode is dedicated to that vision of improving areas of your life on demand, including the areas directly related to your health and well being. Listen in as I teach you everything I know about habits… and help you understand that long term thinking is key.

• [2:22] “It might take you 30 days to create a habit. But that habit could change your life for the next 30 years.” 
• [4:51] Christine discusses focusing on our feelings, our emotions… because they are definitely involved in the habit changing process. 
• [9:00] “I learned that I could change the way I see myself through the process…”
• [13:22] Dr. Li shares that in order for our habits to shift, we have to change our behaviors. 

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Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. Thank you for being here. This is episode number 89. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could activate every change that you desired for yourself? That would be magical, wouldn't it? This episode is dedicated to that vision where you could improve areas of your life on demand, including those areas directly related to your health and well being and have the entire change process be completely positive. I'm currently experimenting with a little habit changed myself as I'm planning to insert a few personal stories in my posts and my podcast. So you're going to hear a little bit about my experiences from 20 years ago, and my recent trip to Italy in this episode, too. Let's go listen to the episode together now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together. So that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast.

Today, I'd like to teach you everything I know about habits, how I see them as working well. And the reasons I see habits not working well for myself and for other people so that you have a better chance at working on your own habits in the way that you see fit. And I thought I'd start by reading a post that I saw on Facebook the other day, under the account called universal energy power. And I thought it was a very potent post. So it starts like this, it might take you 30 days to create a habit. But that habit could change your life for the next 30 years. It might take you one hour to complete a workout. But it will keep you in a good mood for the next 12 hours. It might take you 30 minutes to complete a morning routine. But it will build momentum for the rest of the day. It might take you five hours to read a book, but you'll keep the knowledge forever. It might take you three months to learn a new skill. But that skill could make you millions, long term thinking really is key. So I loved this post, I thought it was really powerful. I thought it was really true. And if you think about it, those books that you've read in your life where you just took one sentence or one idea from that book, and it just helped you for the rest of your life. How powerful is that? How much can we feed ourselves, when we decide we're going to change a habit for ourselves, when we decide we're going to try something new when we decide to pick up another book. So I wanted to start you off with that kind of idea of openness and possibility for you. But I also want to acknowledge that you may not be in the mood for thinking about your life long term, you might be feeling really stressed out, it might be feeling really tired, it might be feeling really hopeless. And here's where I come in because I'm someone who loves to focus on what we can do, even when we're feeling tired, stressed out hopeless, and not good about ourselves. Because I feel like we're all deserving of that power of possibility and of change, no matter how we think about ourselves. So even if you struggle with thinking about long term scenarios, I want you to know that the effort that you can take to tweak your habits, even in the smallest of ways will be worthwhile. And I think you could see the benefits of working on your habits within the span of just one week. But I want you to know that in order to see results in order to change any behaviors. We need to really focus on our feelings, our emotions, and I think emotions are definitely involved in the habit changing process. And this is where I think most people who feel like they can't quit their bad habit or get to their desired habit get stuck, and they get stymied, because they don't really see themselves as being able to withstand the change process. They don't see themselves as being able to manage the feelings that come up when we desire something new in our lives. And I wanted at this point to describe a big event in my life that happened about 20 years ago. This had to do with some physical pain that I was experiencing, I would get really horrible, debilitating pain on the left side of my neck. And sometimes I would get a migraine type of severe headache, like, I felt like my head was being clamped by a vise, it was so terrible, I would oftentimes have vomiting, I would have to quit work and leave work and cancel on patients. And I was in a lot of distress, because I didn't know what the source of this pain and this sickness was. And through a long process of trying to find the right treatment, I located a wonderful acupuncturist, who put me on an elimination diet where I did not eat things like corn, egg, and wheat for, I think it was five weeks. And we revealed through that elimination diet that I had a gluten insensitivity that eating things like bread and pasta would be like feeding my body poisons, and my body was reacting with symptoms to alert me to the fact that it was trying to fight off this poison. And then I had to go through the habit change because we located the culprit for my illness, but I had to figure out how to fix my own life so that I could stay away from the thing that was making me feel sick. And this was where I felt the complications came in. I wasn't much of a gluten eater to begin with. But I realized once I was needing to stay away from the gluten, how difficult it was to change your diet. I felt like I had to make a pretty dramatic shift in a number of areas. And I felt like I didn't have the foggiest idea about nutrition and nutrition principles at the time. So I needed to change multiple habits, including learning how to shop at the grocery store in a new way. I was walking down aisles I had never walked down before I needed to learn how to spend more money. On my grocery bill, my grocery bill pretty much tripled. Because I was all of a sudden buying fresh foods and avoiding the easier foods that I was typically eating. Before that I had to learn the habit of cooking for myself more, I had to learn the habit of staying clear of foods like bread, bagels, pasta, cookies and cake. I also had to learn how to travel without going to restaurants and getting the easy foods that rest stops typically have totally stocked. And I found it very difficult to navigate these changes all at once. And fortunately, I had the benefit of this wonderful acupuncturists support, I had the benefit of acupuncture at the time, as well. And I learned that I could change the way I see myself through the process over the weeks of learning to cook for myself, doing new recipes, shopping in a different way and staying clear of gluten. I was changing not only my diet, I was changing myself. And so I learned that it's not just about the recipes, because that would not have been enough. I needed the support from another person who knew what she was doing and had more experience than I did. And I needed to have a personal goal of sticking with my idea that I could actually be pain free. And I needed to carry through on all of these behaviors on a daily basis. And all of this had to come together all at once. But I have to report that it was a wonderful experience in the end because within the span of five days I noticed that I was already feeling better, my stomach was not as bloated and uncomfortable feeling. And by the end of five weeks, I had dropped five pounds, at least five pounds, if I remember correctly, and I felt really well, I think I felt and looked the best I had felt in years. And perhaps the best part of the story of all was that I didn't have that terrible, debilitating, pain returning. So I taught myself that I could change my entire health status and my mindset. In just a very short period of time, of course, I had that support. But I also had a lot of willpower, that I applied to this process. And now that I'm 20 years healed from that pain, so grateful to report that I tried to apply what I learned from that experience, and from recovering from chronic procrastination, to help other people do the emotional work to prepare for their chosen habit change. I don't particularly get in the habit of prescribing for people what I think they should do, I think it's really important to find your own path through that you have to know what is important for you to change. What is the thing that is causing you the most stress? What is the habit that is causing you the most negative feelings, the most negative experiences the most negative consequences? I want you to evaluate that as you're listening to this episode, today, what comes to mind? What is the the habit that maybe you've never even thought you could part with that maybe I'm encouraging you to open your mind and decide, ah, maybe I can change that maybe I do have it within me to get this out of my life once and for all. I hope that's the case. So back to that idea of feelings, we do need to do this emotional preparation work, because we're really smart. And we know in our heart of hearts, that if we're not fully committed to something emotionally, and in our behaviors, and how we're showing up for ourselves, day to day, we know that the habit is not going to shift. And when we know in our heart of hearts that we're not fully committed, then what happens what happens is we never start the habit change. To begin with, we never have that proper energy, that proper mindset, that proper commitment to make any change happen. And then we get stuck in an emotional spiral of feeling hopeless. And we get stuck with the habit that we don't really want the one that is insufficient for us, the one that keeps us feeling disappointed in ourselves. So again, I want to emphasize that there's a really important emotional piece that you have to do before you embark on any major habit change.

So when I help people to prepare for their new habits, I think people realize that they have to change not only the behavior, but they have to change themselves, we have to change in order for our habits to shift. When we fail to see ourselves as capable or worthy of the change that we're wanting, we will not even begin to attempt the habit change. And we will feel potentially even worse about ourselves. Because we know there's a greater future for ourselves. And we're feeling like we're not worthy of it, we're not ready for it. We're not competent enough for it. And I'm here to encourage you to change that thinking within yourself. I want you to find the strength in yourself, to get the better life to get the better habit to get the better mindset that will come when you shift your habit. If you don't feel like you have it within yourself. Please reach out to someone who has that experience, who has that prior knowledge about what you're going through. It turns out that that acupuncturist that helped me had gone through the very same thing herself and knew exactly what was going on with me before it was even diagnosed formally. So give yourself that chance and know that any habit is changeable. As long as you've got the right elements in place and in play ahead of time. Feel free to reach out to me of course if you feel Like you need help with your personal habit change too. Now I wanted to add two more comments to help me illustrate what I'm teaching in this episode. The first thing is I just returned from a wonderful 10 day trip to Italy, which was really like a massive life dream come true to share a funny story, or maybe not so funny story. In ninth grade, I was due to travel to Italy with my Latin class. And on April 1, in my ninth grade, I got hit by a car the day before my class left for this wonderful trip. And so it's been my life's journey to get to the point where I could actually visit Italy myself, and it finally happened. And that's the backstory. But the story of my trip was actually very rich in itself. Because I found myself an inexperienced, international traveler, finding that there were lessons to be learned, really in every day of the trip. And I thought that was fascinating. I realized what I liked about travel, what I didn't like about different things about Italy and traveling. And they were all just many realizations about myself, which I loved. Because, you know, I'm really interested in introspection and finding out about people and learning learning learning, I also realized that there was a lot of adaptation that I had to do because I was in a brand new environment. And that did cause a little bit of stress. Oftentimes, it was very pleasurable and pleasant stress. But there were moments where it was a little less pleasurable. And I realized that traveling in a foreign destination, really highlights how much we have to change. To accommodate stresses in our lives, I realized I was changing like moment to moment, with every restaurant with every new town we were traveling to, I had to change. But it made me reflect that we are really changing all of the time, even when we're at home, in our home country in our comfortable abode in our regular jobs and our regular routines. And we're just not necessarily seeing ourselves as changing so quickly or changing all the time. And I think that was probably the most valuable takeaway that I had, from the trip that we are agents of change. We are so flexible, we are so adaptable. And I wanted to pass that on to you to encourage you to dig into your own flexibility to avoid seeing yourself as being really rigid or is being someone who stuck in their habits or trapped in their habits even see yourself as powerful and believe in yourself fully. Even if you're not getting on a plane. Even if you're not on vacation. You can make whatever change happen in your life that you need and want. The second point that I have for you, is probably going to make me tear up and cry. During the trip on August 8, I learned that Olivia Newton John had passed away. And I think many of you who are listening are admirers and lovers of the work and music and life and person of Olivia Newton John. And when I heard that she had passed away my first thought was, it's okay she passed away on August 8, and that happens to be the Lionsgate portal date. I knew that ahead of time ahead of learning of this news of her passing. And if you don't know Lionsgate portal in astrology is when the universe is full of positive energy and is ready to hear your aspirations. It's a time for manifesting new ideas for raising our consciousness and enhancing our spiritual energy and I thought to myself immediately, I could not imagine a more perfect way for Olivia Newton John to transition to infinity to whatever is there for her in the universe from here on

out. You know, that's my positivity coming through too but in reviewing Facebook tribute posts and stuff online video segments and interviews with her about her life and career and her music. I learned that the thing that she wanted to be remembered most for was her positivity. She wanted us to believe that we are magic and that nothing can stand in our way. You have to keep your hopefulness alive. And then the universe will deliver. You just have to keep your wishes front and center. Keep the power there. Don't doubt yourself, the power of positivity and gratitude and belief in the magic that you have within you and within the universe. To shift whatever you need to go forward and create your own magic and the world, now's your chance. Olivia has passed on. But we are still here, working our own magic. And I want to just leave you with all of these thoughts. You have the power to rescue yourself from habits that you don't care for the habits that you don't want, and to embrace the ones that you know you're capable of. You wouldn't feel frustrated about these habits. If you didn't know there was something else better out there for you. I wish you all the best. As always, I will see you next week as the next episode drops. Thanks so much for listening to this one. Hope it helped. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. We'll talk to you soon!

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