This is the year to become who we really want to be. We have an opportunity to observe, consider and then make healthier choices about the events in our lives. I would like to offer you three fabulous ways to begin doing that in 2014. The following three techniques include: expressing gratitude by changing your neural pathways, using different language and identifying the elephants in your life.

  1. Expressing Gratitude is a powerful way to start. Gratitude helps us to feel better. When we say thank you with our heart, the world is grateful in return. Thank goodness, the brain has neuro plasticity which means it is constantly being rewired for change. And we have control over these changes.

    The clearest way to imagine this is to see your brain like a road map. There are large toll roads or pathways like the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike and then there are the smaller roads in your neighborhoods.

    Our habits or pathways are like the roads. If it is a long standing, well entrenched habit then you are accessing the Turnpike. If it is a newer habit, then it is Main Street in Somerville, NJ. So if you have a big habit of feeling that the “world is a terrible place to bring up kids” and you would like to change this, there is hope for you.
    Within a brief period of three to four weeks, you can shift the habit and create new roads of gratitude. Scientists have found, after two weeks of 15 minute a day focus, you will increase your neurons. And this new road to Gratitude will help you to bring in more things to be grateful for. Think about your gratitude daily for 15 minutes.
    It really helps! Check out this link and begin consciously wiring your brain for gratitude.

  2. Changing your Language
    We have heard the message that thoughts become things for years. This is true. Have you recently been guilty of saying any of these thoughts?
    I am afraid I am getting sick.
    I am afraid I am getting depressed.
    I am afraid that I will never feel good again.
    Sometimes just changing one word around can make a difference.

    What if every time you started thinking that you were getting worse, you changed the words to I am afraid that I am getting better. It makes us laugh when we say it and we begin to realize the craziness of our self talk. For the most part, we do get sick and then we get better. So why would we only focus on the first part of the thought. How many times can you say I am afraid that I am getting better today?
    And then, the last suggestion.

  3. How Many Elephants are in your Living Room?
    You know the image of the huge “Elephant” issue that no one wishes to address and yet it clouds everything that happens. Is it overlooking an affair? Or perhaps your son is smoking too much marijuana?
    Or your partner has diabetes and can’t stop eating sweets? Or perhaps, you are concerned about the pipeline being built in Alaska that will destroy the wildlife or the recent farm bill that passed that supports GMO practices. There are so many elephants or issues in our lives that we end up feeling desperate that things will never change. And yes, it is possible to focus on one elephant and work on changing this situation. This not only makes things easier but the change becomes more significant. So pick your elephant and then identify ways that you can take responsibility to change it. Sometimes, it is simply stating the truth to the appropriate person and then allowing them to take responsibility for their actions. And step back and wait for the changes to happen.

Are you ready to make some simple changes that can affect the rest of your life? Lasting change happens with small steps. These are three small steps that you can easily take to create the life that you wish to live in 2014.

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