by Angela Atkinson
“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” ~Tyron Edwards
Some habits serve us well, while others may be counter-intuitive to the lives we want to lead. As we pursue our fulfillment and move toward becoming our best selves, inspired action often directs us to create new habits in our lives and discard those which no longer serve us. You can create the life you want–and one important step is to create positive habits.
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Creating new habits can feel like a major challenge, but you already know that it’s worth it. The first step to creating new habits is to clear out the ones that aren’t helping you to reach your goals. Your habits are developed over time, and they’re the direct result of repeated thoughts, actions and even emotions that have become implanted in your subconscious mind.
So, your habits, negative or positive, are what you do when you’re on “autopilot.” For example, if you create a habit of sitting down with a bag of chips while you watch the evening news, you may not even be consciously making the decision to eat the chips anymore. You automatically pick up the chips and head to the couch–and before you know it, half the bag is gone and the news is over. And you’re probably ready for dinner. In a few weeks or months, you might notice that your jeans don’t fit as well as they once did–and you might not even realize why.
As you prepare to choose new, more positive habits, you must first determine which habits are not aiding you in your path to ultimate fulfillment. Now here’s the hard part–you have to be completely honest with yourself. We don’t always recognize our habits and the effects they can have on us. You probably already know the answers subconsciously, but sometimes they’re hard to admit. What habits aren’t serving you well? Which ones are taking you away from your desires?
Identifying Negative Habits
Try this quick and simple exercise to help you identify the negative habits that are slowing you down.
1. Make a short list of life goals. For example: I want to be physically fit, a successful career person and an amazing parent.
2. Look at each life goal and consider your habits. Which habits aren’t helping you reach those goals? For example: If you eat something sweet every day at work around 2:00 PM, that isn’t conducive to trying to become physically fit. If you show up ten minutes late every day for work, that’s probably not helping you to become more successful. And if you’re in the habit of yelling at your kids all the time, that’s not helping you to be the parent you want to be.
3. Write down the habits you’ve identified and want to change, and begin to take notice of them. Taking notice of the things you want to change is the next step toward creating the life you want.
My challenge for you today is to identify the habits that aren’t helping you to reach your highest potential. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to choose and implement new, more positive habits that will lead you to becoming the best possible version of you.
Which habits aren’t serving you well? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below, and don’t forget to update your Bliss Book!
by Angela Atkinson
“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ~Ronald Reagan
A few years ago, I drove to a different town to do a series of political candidate interviews I’m working on for one of my local news writing jobs.
The first interview was with a candidate who called himself a Reagan conservative republican. I’m not very political by nature, but I think in general, some of my beliefs and ideas would be considered pretty liberal. Even so, I could definitely identify and connect with this man.
The Definition of Soulmates
In addition to all of the political stuff, the candidate talked a lot about his wife, who unexpectedly passed away more than a decade ago.
He told me that he hadn’t changed a thing in the home she decorated, and then he told me the story of their epic love.
Even now, more than a decade later, the love shone brightly in his eyes as he spoke of his beautiful wife. He showed me pictures of her and talked about their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Since they’d married young–he was 20, she was 18–they had planned to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary together.
Goodnight, Sweetheart, It’s Time to Go
They were married for nearly 40 blissful years when his wife had a terrible headache one night and went to bed.
The candidate said he tried to take her to the hospital because the headache seemed so severe–in fact, he tried three times, but each time his wife refused, preferring to stay in the comfort of her own home.
She wasn’t even sick, as far as they knew, and the next morning, he left her to sleep as he went about his morning routines.
One of his daughters called him that morning, around 7:15 am. She asked after her mother, and the candidate told her she was asleep.
His daughter then asked him a question that, to this day, he has no idea why she’d ask–was her mother breathing?
The candidate said of course she was, but when he hung up, he thought about how strange it was that his daughter would say something like that. He went into the bedroom to check on his wife and found her there, unresponsive. He said she couldn’t be moved.
He called 911 and the paramedics, fire department and police arrived soon after. He said that much of the rest of the day was a blur, as he was understandably quite traumatized by the whole situation.
But he did remember that he tried to go into the bedroom to see her again. He was not allowed into the room, so he paced the floors of the family room where they’d spent so many happy hours together. He waited, and finally learned that she’d been declared dead.
One True Love: Soulmates are Forever
Since the death of his beloved wife, the candidate hasn’t even had the desire to date anyone else.
He said there was only one true love for him, his soulmate, his wife. He also mentioned that he had grown closer to his children since then and told me that his wife had done such an amazing job raising them.
She had been the primary caregiver as a stay-at-home mom while he worked to support the family.
The look on his face as he talked about his wife was indescribable. He was clearly still in love with her, even thirteen years after she’d passed away–theirs was a love that truly transcended even death.
Honestly, I was moved almost to the point of tears by the depth of his love for her.
In addition to getting a glimpse inside of an amazing love story, the thing that really struck me about this man is that, even though he lost the love of his life so unexpectedly, he was still so very grateful for everything that they’d been given in life.
He made it very clear that even now, he feels very grateful for the life he has been given, he is all about love. Love is the answer, he said, to everything.
That day, I found myself feeling grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such an amazing man with such an incredible outlook on life and that he was kind enough to share it with me.
And that night, when I kissed my husband good night, I kept this political candidate’s love story in my heart and remembered to be grateful for every moment we have together.
Do you believe in soulmates? Have you met yours yet? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!