Want to Change Behavior? Just Believe!

This is a great elaboration+follow-up to my previous post. ProfTomBot writes, “…So instead of laboring and wrestling your habits by slapping them each time they pop up, focus your will and mind power on believing something that will make that habit inherently something you wouldn’t do. If you dig to your core and form a personal belief about who you really are and what you really care about and what you really need to do to be your best, when that belief truly establishes you won’t have to counter anything. You’ll find it’s actually a struggle to do a former bad habit because you’ll have to do something you don’t personally believe in doing. It’s all a matter of getting into your own head, defining your own personal desires and goals, your take on the world and your role in it and how you should – and will – behave to live up to it, and then integrating this into your belief system. Once you make those brain regions physically form new neural networks to accommodate your new belief into the system, your behavioral system will follow suit naturally.”

Well put. Thank you, ProfTomBot!

Also, as an addendum to my previous post, it took me so long to try to write it that I lost track of how long it had been since J took a potty break, and he peed on the living room carpet. Really my fault… just goes to reinforce what I was saying about other priorities leading me to minimizing this blog. Heh. But he really has been doing *so* well for the past week or two! Much better than the week before that. Which I really ought to blog in detail about before too long, before I forget, because it was Epic Bodily Function week in Preschoolerville. Ah-yeah.

Anyway, go read this article! It’s good.

–GM

 

The Broad Spectrum Life

Many people in our modern world find the need to change habits and behaviors that they find for burdensome. However, it is a burden in itself to change. The burden mostly lies in a struggle of the mind over instinct, or so it feels. Well, this reveals the strategy and it’s flaw. Active thinking can’t really put a dent in deep seated, subconsciously* and/or unconsciously** manifested habituations. The only way to think your way out is if the thinking doesn’t counter the habit in situ but thinks about the source specifically. Directly struggling with the habit per case is actually one of the most indirect and insufficient methods. You must find the fundamental sources and alter these to achieve progress and dodge stress and struggle. I’ll tell you the basic logic, but the protocol for success resides in you and is drafted from your willingness and ability to self-analyze and…

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Modern Providence: Genesis addendum

And on the 27,5838-gazillionth day, God created glowing screens with voices, and sticks to change the images upon their faces, and He said to the mother, “Go, set your children before this comfort, for your soul and your bones are weary, and I have brought you rest. Go take a nap.”

So she did, and it was good.


(Edit to explain: Eyes kept me up til 4 a.m. last night, then woke around 7. Yeeeaaaaahhhhh…. not firing on all cylinders today.)

 

The Five-Second Rule

five to ten seconds: the eternal perspective you need in a moment

I texted this to a group of fellow mom friends a few weeks back (we were sharing our struggles in parenting young, volatile, impressionable children):

“My number-1 targeted habit-to-improve these days is stopping and taking 3 seconds before reacting. If I do that, I give myself a chance to be intentional. Sometimes I’m not anyway… but if I don’t pause at all, I default to whatever knee-jerk reaction is in the queue without thinking.”

If I’m honest, I really need more like 5-10 seconds to take a deep breath, release my priorities, remind myself that my childrens’ emotions won’t kill me, and reset. When I take those five seconds, I give myself a chance to make better choices than my history-crippled subconscious would default to.

Five seconds = power to do good.

I went on for my friends:

“In those 3-5 seconds, I try to employ mostly-non-verbal self-talk like, ‘yes, I am angry. Yes, it’s understandable. Yes, it’s hard to be kind when I feel hurt and attacked. Yes, I can react to these feelings with frustration.

“Now, let me react to my kids differently, because they /= my negative feelings and experiences.

“They deserve a different response. It might entail consequences, it might not. But one reaction is for how I feel, and one reaction is for who they are.

“These are not interchangeable.”

 

One of my friends said she wanted to copy these thoughts into a text file to read later, so I figured I’d put them up on the blog for her convenience, and in case they help anybody else.

The amazing thing is, this concept that God was stirring up in my subconscious until it worked its way into more conscious, verbal thought is very similar to the techniques and teachings of at least one parenting and child development expert with way more credibility than I have: Dr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting.com. My husband and I attended a seminar by her this past week, and we were both blown away–which is rather amazing in and of itself.

I’ll save that story and more on what we learned from Dr. Laura another time, but suffice it to say: Jesus, much like Aslan, is on the move in our little family. He’s preparing our hearts and pulling things together in ways we did not see or comprehend months, weeks, or even days ago.

It’s incredible to watch!