How To Make New Habits That Stick In 2018

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For many, the new year is a time to start (or re-start) a new habit or journey to a goal. It's easy and exciting in the beginning, but have you ever started a habit only for it to fade after a few days or few weeks?

There are theories that it takes 21 days, 40 days, or even 60 days to make a habit stick, but I believe there's more to it than that. Whether you want to start writing, dieting, meditating, reading, exercising, decluttering or practicing yoga there's no stronger motivator to maintain the habit in the long term than your 'why'.

The important thing is, knowing your 'heart why' rather than your 'ego why' can be the difference between lasting, positive change, and a daily battle or the disappointment of another failed attempt.

The ego tells us that we want to be able to do all kinds of things, but when the ego decides what we should be doing the reasons are often superficial and do not hold enough meaning for us to stick with the habit. The ego is easily bored, easily distracted, and doesn't like hard work. Put a tough day in it's way, a road block, or maybe just something more shiny and appealing and it'll abandon the habit without a second thought!

Don't worry, all is not lost! There is a way that creates lasting change!

If we spend a little time digging deeper into the real reasons we'd like to do something, we can find our true motivation – our 'heart why'. These reasons are usually connected to our life goals and are often orientated around health, happiness and family.

Let's look at meditating as an example of digging into the 'heart why' – this is an example of the thought process I once had in my journal to find my true motivation to meditate every day.

Why do I want to meditate every day?

I've read blog posts and articles that say it's good for me. Similar responses to this initial question could be 'because it's the yogi thing to do' or 'because I've heard that lots of successful people do it'

If I were to stop there, this reason alone is probably not enough to solidify the habit into my daily life even if I've heard and read that it would be good for me.

So dig deeper and ask 'why is it good for me'?

It helps me to slow down, find focus, be more calm, and requires discipline.

Great! That's better, but it's still not the true 'heart why'. All those things are good but is it enough to solidify the habit? Is it closely related to my bigger goals in life? Nope! So keep asking...

Why do I want to slow down, find focus and calm, need discipline?

Slowing down reduces my stress levels and stops me being swept away with feeling of overwhelm. Not succumbing to overwhelm, and finding focus helps me to complete the tasks I want to do in a day. Finding discipline to do this one thing, lets me know I have the discipline to do other things in my life and therefore get things done even when they're challenging or not easy. Lower stress levels are lower stress levels, right?!

We're getting closer and all those things are great, but they're not the big reason yet. Let's ask again! 'Why are those things good?'

If I'm more calm and focused, and have the discipline to complete the tasks I need to do each day, then I have more time for the things I love to do – spend time with my husband, friends & pups, and to be outdoors. If I'm less stressed, I'll be more present when I'm with friends and family, and I'll be more fun to be around.

Do you see the real reason I want to meditate now? It's not because I read an article that said it's good for me or because successful people say it works for them. My real reason for sitting on that cushion every day is because I know it will allow me to spend more quality time doing the things I want to do with the people I love. That is my 'heart why'. That is the one to write down and have visible for the days that practicing the habit doesn't appeal to me for whatever reason. We've found the true motivation I need to stick with the habit in the long term.

It's important for you to sit down and be true to yourself in this process – we all have different motivations in life, and what motivates me, may not motivate you. You have to dig deep and find what YOU want!

This just doesn't work for a habit of meditating, it can work for healthy eating, getting more sleep, daily writing, exercising, and anything else you might want to add into your life!

Why not give it a go? Find somewhere quiet for 10-20 minutes, I recommend writing in a journal or on your computer to really work it though. Don't hesitate, over-analyze, or over-think about what you're writing, there is no right or wrong answer and no one else needs to see this so don't hold back, just keep writing openly without judgment until you find your true motivation.

It's time to get past the ego's reasons that you want to implement new habits into your life and ask why, why and why again and again until you find your true motivation. Ask and answer until you find a reason that really resonates with your heart so that you can follow through in 2018!

Don’t wait for the new year! This is why you should start a self-care practice today!

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We've all heard the saying 'you can't pour from an empty cup', but do you feel at this time of year that your 'cup' is emptier than ever? As we approach Christmas we find ourselves juggling our regular commitments of work and family, with additional celebrations, events, shopping, eating, drinking, extended family obligations and travel. Routines are abandoned and our schedules are packed full, so I'm fairly certain you think I'm crazy asking you, (at this of all times!), to think about doing anything for yourself. But I'm not crazy, there is logic in my madness!

Here's the thing - if you give give give, run run run, and stress stress stress, what is your mental state to those around you who want to enjoy the season with you? Are you exhausted? Short tempered? Stressed? Anxious?

Take a moment to consider how you would like to be during the holidays. How does it sound if you could be happy, present, relaxed and able to solve unexpected challenges with grace and ease?

Now, more than ever, you need to take care of yourself so that you can be there for those around you (and not as just a physically worn out slightly grumpy version of you that can't wait for Christmas to be over and normal routine to resume!).

Self-care doesn't have to be hours of luxury in a spa. However nice that might be, for many of us it's probably not going to happen (but if you can and you want to, please do!). Self-care is a practice, or practices that you weave into your day, that nourish and support you to help you feel energized, present, and stress free. They look different for everyone and can change depending on the season of life you’re in, as well as current commitments, and mental and physical health.

Be careful not to confuse self care with checking out; TV watching, gaming, scrolling on the internet and similar activities where we tune out and lose 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and even hours (and don't try to convince me that facebook time is self-care! If you're not in control of the nature of the content it's not guaranteed to be positive or helpful and there's a risk you'll end up more stressed and annoyed, most likely at someone you'll never even meet!)

Think of self-care as checking-in time; actions that make you feel better and more connected to the inner workings of your mind and body in a positive way.Here are some ideas of what self-care can look like - some are daily actions, whereas others might be something you do 1, 2 or 3 times a week. Remember we're all different so the practice should reflect what brings you joy and relaxation, not what you feel you 'should' do, or what someone else does. 

  • Read a page (or more) of something inspirational
  • Walk or run
  • Write down 3 things that you're grateful for
  • Take 5 deep breaths every morning before looking at your phone/laptop
  • Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
  • Take a yoga class
  • Draw/Paint
  • Free-write for 15 minutes a day
  • Walk in nature
  • Go to the gym
  • Meditate 
  • Spend time connecting to people that support, encourage and inspire you

Take a few minutes to think about what actions nourish you, write them down and decide how you will make time for one of them today, tomorrow, in the coming weeks, and even on your busiest days, so that the best version of you can shine through during the holidays and into the new year.

White Howlite For Patience

As you might have noticed, we've been focusing our attention this week on the practice of patience, both with ourselves and our personal growth, as well as with those around us. Keep your focus on patience in the weeks and months ahead with white howlite gemstones.

Gemstones are a great way to bring focus to a feeling or energy that you wish to cultivate and grow in your daily life. Each gemstone comes with it's own energetic qualities and can be used in many ways.

Read on to find out the benefits of (and ways to use) white howlite. We hand make all jewelry in Brookeland, TX - All items shown in photos are available in our online shop 

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White Howlite is a calming stone of wisdom and insight. It encourages patience, and helps to calm an overactive mind and turbulent emotions, and as a result reduces feelings of stress.

White howlite helps the wearer to let go of anger, selfishness and criticism, and develop a positive outlook on life. It promotes kindness, compassionate behaviour, and peaceful coexistence.

There are no rules as to how to use gemstones, but here are some ideas of how to bring the patient and soothing energy of white howlite into your life:

White howlite mala

Jewelry: Knotted mala necklace, mala bracelet or single bracelet

Combine white howlite with your favorite gemstones for a beautiful piece of energy jewelry. The jewelry can be a visual reminder of your intention each time you feel impatience bubbling up, and allow it's soothing natural energy to encourage patience and calm.

Tumbled Gemstones: 

  • Keep some white howlite in your car if you get road rage. 
  • Keep some in your pocket when shopping or going out if you often get impatient waiting in line.
  • Keep in the home if you struggle to stay patient with your family 
  • I often keep some on my laptop because, between you and me, I tend to get impatient waiting for technology/the internet to load!
  • Place at the top of your yoga mat during your practice as a reminder to slow down, enjoy transitions, and to find joy in where we currently are in our practice. 
  • Place a gemstone in your space during a long project, whether it be in business or personal growth.

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Setting intentions and meditating with gemstones each morning will encourage motivation and inspiration to carry the positive energy of the gemstone with you throughout the day. You can hold the gemstones while practicing a simple breath awareness meditation, or alternatively choose a mantra as your point of focus. Picking a mantra aligned with the gemstone is my favorite method as each time I feel or see the gemstone throughout the day, the mantra comes to mind and positively effects my energy.

Here are some suggestions for white howlite mantras, pick one, or follow your instinct and create one that feels good!

'Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile' (Thich Nhat Hahn)

'I am patient, I am kind’

If you’d like to order some energy jewelry for yourself or as a gift, check out our shop or alternatively message us for a free custom design consultation. 

(Metaphysical descriptions are for educational purpose only and are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases.*)