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Posts Categorized: Habits

8 Warning Signs of an Anger Problem

8 Warning Signs of an Anger Problem | focuswithmarlene.com

Anger, like all emotions, has a purpose. It is neither bad nor good on its own. When managed and expressed appropriately, it can be an important ally and friend.

The energy that anger creates can help us make important changes. When used as a motivational force it gives us the motivation to change our lives for the better.

Left unchecked, however, it simmers beneath the surface, ready to explode at any moment. Anger then focuses on everything that is and has been going wrong in our lives. It keeps us from seeing anything good.

It is to our benefit to find out how we acquired an angry-aggressive habitual response before it becomes a wildfire that burns everything in its path.

12 Steps to Aging Confidently

12 Steps to Aging Confidently | Focuswithmarlene.com

1. Develop a new focus – a new mindset.

Focus on what you can do; don’t dwell on what you can’t do. As we age, there will be things we no longer can do and things we struggle to do. For example, arthritis can make it difficult to pick up objects or hold onto them, and we begin to worry about our abilities declining.

Worry can become a habit that eliminates possibilities. Do what you can and do it with confidence.

2. Acknowledge and accept.

It is hard to accept that we are aging. But each day is an opportunity to begin again.

  • What interests, passions, or things have you wanted to do but never had time for?

Replacing Habits That Keep You from Being Successful

Replacing Habits That Keep You from Being Successful

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
—Brian Tracy

To be successful, you need to be in charge of both your time and habits. Chores need to be done but we also need fun and relaxation.

In my recent post, Are Your Habits Sabotaging Your Efforts? you kept a record of how you spent your time each day for a week.

Last week, in Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life, you re-examined the log you kept, and formulated a workable structure for how you spent your time each day.

This week’s post will help you understand how habits are created and reinforced.

Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life

Take Charge of Your Time – Take Charge of Your Life

What is your daily time routine? Habits and time management go hand-in-hand. If you want to maximize your time, you need to put habits in place that will help you follow those guidelines.

Next week you will learn what keeps habits in place. But first, let’s set up a time management program that works for you.

Time management is more than making to-do lists.

We all make lists of things to be done and then either abandon them or become stressed in the process of trying to get everything done. And we tend to do the things we like doing first and then put the rest on hold until we feel like it.

Are Your Habits Sabotaging Your Efforts?

Are Your Habits Sabotaging Your Efforts? | FocusWithMarlene.com

It has been said that over 40% of our actions each day are habits. If so, much of our day is on autopilot, and it behooves us to look carefully at our habits to discover which are working for us and which are working against us.

This is especially important as you prepare to make new goals for the future. Successful goals rely on habits that keep you on track.

“Once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.”

—Charles Duhigg

As you reflect on the goals you have made in the past, why were some never completed while others were? What made the difference?

Adjust Your Focus: Reframe Your Circumstances

Adjust Your Focus: Reframe Your Circumstances | FocusWithMarlene.com

Life is full of challenges. Some challenges will be fairly straightforward while others will require major adjustment and reframing to meet the demands within them.

Years ago, when I was helping design and write a class on Chronic Illness, we reviewed a book by Arnold Beisser titled, Flying without Wings: Personal Reflections on Loss, Disability and Healing. Arnold was a young man ready to conquer the world. He was an athlete and tennis champion and had just completed medical school when polio struck. He found himself in an iron lung instead of in an office taking on new clients.

As he lay there unable to move, paralyzed from head to foot, he asked himself, Now what? His life seemed over. But he decided to take it back and gradually began to reframe his situation.

A New Focus

A New Focus | FocusWithMarlene.com

Before I returned to school to get my master’s degree in psychology and counseling, I had the privilege to work for a company that provided two-week training workshops to injured workers in chronic pain. The participants were mandated to attend before their workman’s compensation expired.

When they arrived, they were angry and combative. Yet over the two weeks, we saw a profound change in individuals – they had hope again. They began to focus on what they could possibly do rather than what they no longer were able to do. It was an amazing transformation I witnessed many times.

However, some participants refused to consider such an option, and remained locked in bitterness over their injuries. When we believe we are limited or have no choices, we experience hopelessness, helplessness, resentment, anxiety and fear.

How to Replace Habits That Aren’t Working for You

How to Replace Habits That Aren’t Working for You | FocusWithMarlene.com

Taking charge of your time and your life requires not only being aware of your current habits, but knowing how to replace habits that aren’t working. Taking charge means putting in place a new time management schedule that meets your purposes and goals.

It will require self-regulation and self-discipline. The word “discipline” often triggers a negative response based on our childhood interpretation of discipline. But now it is a positive tool allowing you to do the things you want to do.

Self-regulation doesn’t mean every moment is regulated in some way or that we lead a regimented life with no pleasure or down times. In fact, when you put a time management plan in place, you will find you have more time than you did before. You are able to schedule in fun and pleasant times as well as the accomplishment of tasks and chores.

How to Evaluate Which Habits Impact Your Behavior Negatively and Positively

As I mentioned in my previous post, habits affect everything we do. They are behaviors we keep in place because we get a benefit in some way.

But habits and behaviors have consequences. They might make us feel good in the moment but have a negative long-term cost.

To make habits work for you, it is important to know which ones keep you from maximizing your time and efforts.

For example, you may decide that this is a good time for you to go back to school and get an advanced degree or training. Before you do, it is helpful to know how you currently use your time and what you do on a regular basis.

  • What wasted time can be redirected?
  • What current habits would interfere with completing your course work?

Habits: Are They Working For or Against You?

Habits: Are They Working For or Against You?

We are creatures of habit. Habits are great because we don’t have to think about every move we make. It’s like being on auto pilot. But they can also keep us from achieving what we want in life.

We need to be aware of the habits that can help or hinder us. The next three posts will focus on understanding our habits and learning how we can replace them.

How did we choose the habits we have and what keeps them in place?

Connected to habits are behaviors of some kind. Behaviors continue because we get a payoff or reward that motivates us to keep doing what we are doing.

As behaviors are reinforced, they are repeated and soon become habitual. That reward comes either in the form of receiving something positive or removal of something we don’t want.