January 9, 2019

19 Limiting Behaviors we need to Quit in 2019.



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A post shared by Elephant Journal (@elephantjournal) on Jan 4, 2019 at 10:32am PST

2018 is finished, and 2019 has just begun.

With the transition of one year to the next, many people make the innocent oversight of bringing their outdated patterns with them—just like a tired but treasured piece of luggage.

But, this year, we don’t have to keep doing this. If you are ready to make a fresh start, here are 19 limiting behaviors that we would all be better off without in 2019.

1. Stop people-pleasing.

Do you have a habit of trying to make other people feel better at your own expense? Does your kind nature leave you feeling bitter, twisted, or resentful? Are you sick and tired of giving too much?

Well you are not alone. People-pleasing is a behavioral pattern that affects some of the nicest people on the planet. (I should know, I used to be a chronic people-pleaser myself.) Make 2019 the year that you say no to others and finally put yourself first. When you do, you might find you have more love and energy left to give.

2. Quit punishing yourself.

Do you have the tendency to punish yourself for no good reason? Do you find yourself constantly struggling to keep up with your own impossible standards? Do you add things to your “to-do list” knowing full well you’ll never get around to them?

The antidote to “self-punishment” is “self-care.” That’s right. By simply extending liberal doses of kindness toward ourselves, we can start to turn our lives around. Instead of focusing on what we haven’t achieved yet, we can take time to express gratitude and appreciation for our life’s blessings—both big and small.

And remember, the more we count our blessings, the more blessings we get to count.

3. Don’t compare yourself with others.

Do you ever log in to social media and wonder why everyone else seems to be having such a good time? With their exciting careers, bikini bodies, designer homes, luxury holidays, rock star partners, cute children, and adorable puppies (don’t worry, I’m susceptible to “pooch envy” myself).

Does this ever leave you feeling a little “ho-hum?” Not good enough? Or perhaps even a tad unworthy or undeserving?

Well, it’s time to give yourself a break. You are doing just fine. This year we are going to celebrate all the amazing things that make us unique instead. Yes, that’s right. The time has come to dust off our pom-poms and become our own biggest cheerleader.

4. Release creative blocks.

It’s not only writers that struggle with blocks. When our throat chakra gets stuck, all forms of self-expression can become dull, drab, and dreary. This can affect our natural charisma, levels of self-confidence, and our ability to stand up and be heard.

Let this be the year that you courageously commit to speaking your truth (even if feels a little uncomfortable at first). Our emotions are an incredible gift. Rather than suppressing them, we can try expressing them instead. When we express what’s true for us, we start to tap into our innate power and natural flow.

5. Befriend the inner critic.

You know that voice inside your head that has an expert opinion on just about everything? Yeah, the one that unfairly criticizes or demeans your every move? The one that goes “blah blah blah-dy blah” and just won’t shut up. Like ever? 

Yes. That one. This voice is our inner critic. We all have one. And it can be a real pain in the rump whenever we attempt to leave our comfort zone and try something new. What many people do not know is that it is possible to actually befriend this voice and turn it into something much more supportive, inspiring, and empowering—all it takes is a little practice.

6. Give up boring excuses.

You know the kind of excuses that I’m talking about:

>> “I’m not flexible enough…”
>> “I’m not fit enough…”
>> I’m not tall enough…”
>> “I’m not pretty enough…”
>> “I’m not smart enough…”
>> “I’m not young enough…” 

Firstly, excuses are so 2018. Secondly, the secret is that we are all good enough, just as we are. We always have been.

7. Ignore other peoples’ opinions.

In this lifetime, we are going to leave some people hot, cold, warm, or simply indifferent. There’s not a whole lot we can do about that. People are always going to have their opinions, even bad ones. So, leave them to it I say. And whilst we cannot control what someone else says or does, we do have complete control over how we let it affect us.

Whatever anyone says, just know that we can always smile and say, “Thank you for sharing your opinion with me.” The thing that is going to make all the difference this year is not how other people feel about you, but how you feel about you.

Let all the naysayers and opinionistas fade into the background while you keep doing the best version of you.

8. Stop apologizing unnecessarily.

Are you one of those sweet people that apologizes for just about everything? Even things that aren’t remotely your fault? Like the weather? I’m so sorry it’s raining today. 

I mean come on, really? We are going to pull the curtain on this kind of thing in 2019. Instead of saying, “sorry” try saying, “thank you.” For example, “sorry I’m late” becomes thank you for your patience.”

9. Move beyond indecision.

Are you someone who struggles to make a decision? Even over the smallest of things? The key to overcoming indecisiveness is to accept the full consequences of our decisions, come what may. This helps us to step forward into our true power.

Right now is the perfect time to say sayonara to indecision. (Sayonara is Japanese for goodbye or good riddance, if you are in a particularly bad mood.)

10. Eliminate fake foods.

Eating fake foods creates fake energy. Sure, they might give us a jolt of energy in the short-term, but they ultimately steal our life force over the long-term. The alternative is to eat real foods instead. These are unprocessed foods grown in nature that our bodies can easily recognize, digest, and assimilate.

In my first book, I share how I used “substitution not deprivation to transform my health and lose over 60 pounds naturally in the process. Nature has so many delicious and healthy foods for us to savor. All we need to do is get about it!

11. Substitute artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.

We’ve just explored replacing fake foods with real foods. So we might as well tackle artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners as well. On my healing journey, I learned the hard way about the damage that sugar and artificial food additives can do.

To rebuild my health, I started paying close attention to food labels. If a product contained an ingredient that I couldn’t pronounce, I wouldn’t eat it—as I knew there was a good chance that it was artificially created in a laboratory.

This year we can up-level our health by substituting artificial ingredients for natural alternatives instead.

12. Reorganize chaotic mornings.

Do you find that your mornings don’t run as smoothly as you would like? One way to change this is to intentionally create a morning routine. Search online. Try different things. Find a routine that works best for you. This is particularly important if we are not a natural “morning person.”

I find that journaling in the morning sets me up for a great day. Particularly when I focus upon what I am grateful for. You know you have found a good morning routine when you wake up feeling refreshed and excited about starting the day.

13. Clear clutter.

Clutter refers to anything that we don’t use or love. It includes all the unnecessary excess in our lives. Clutter tends to gravitate toward dark voids like attics, basements, wardrobes, cupboards, fridges, garages, glove boxes, and drawers. Think of these spaces like mini black holes sucking everything into an abyss.

To start clearing clutter, simply choose an area you feel inspired to get sorted, such as your clothes, books, paperwork, or even your inbox. Classify items into two piles:

  1. Things to keep
  2. Things to discard.

As you release the past, repeat the mantra: It’s safe to let go. Do this and you will feel much lighter and organized in no time.

14. Reduce stress.

Modern living is filled with Stress—with a capital S. And of course, we all know that there are many unhealthy coping strategies: emotional eating, binge drinking, and mindless shopping, to name a few. If our addictions are no longer giving us the high we crave, it might be time to consider natural ways to counterbalance our stress levels instead.

Gentle movement practices such as yoga and meditation are effective ways to reduce stress naturally.

15. Prioritize what is important.

Have you been feeling disconnected from your dreams, intuition, and even your true self? Does everything else seem to be getting the best of your attention, leaving nothing for you?

Life can be demanding. No doubt about it. Exhausting jobs, daily commutes, and nagging bills appear to be part of the never-ending monthly grind. Add family and relationship commitments in on top of this and we’ve got a miraculous juggling act on our hands!

But what about saving a little time and attention just for you? We may find a singing, dancing, or drawing class could be just the tonic we need to reconnect with ourselves.

16. Stop trying to fit in.

It makes sense, biologically speaking, that we should try and fit in. When we were back living in caves, being ousted by the tribe would most likely end in death—and not a pretty one either I might add!

Today, we have much more freedom to explore our true natures, and even to choose the tribes we feel most connected and aligned with. This year, let’s all seek out friendships and connections that offer the support, space, and freedom to be true to ourselves.

17. Replace “I can’t…”

Are you tired of hearing yourself utter the words, “I can’t?” Accepting these words as truth suppresses our inner resourcefulness and holds us back from our full potential. It’s like placing a restraining order on the realization of our dreams.

Save yourself a little energy—drop the apostrophe and the t and say “I can” instead. I guarantee this simple adjustment will make all the difference this year.

18. Cease mindless scrolling online.

Did you know that the average adult spends three hours a day on their phones? Imagine what we could do with all that time instead? Of course, much of this is mindless scrolling on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

This year say “no” to mindless scrolling. Make a stand for your greatness. Instead, we can dedicate our time and attention toward the realization of our 2019 goals and dreams.

19. Focus on progress, not perfection.

It has been said that, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Upgrading our lives is very much a journey of progress, not perfection. Just know that simply by reading this article today you have already taken your first step.

So, even if our dreams for 2019 still feel a long way off, just keep taking baby steps toward them. And by the time December 2019 rolls around, we can all celebrate our great progress.

What old patterns would you like to release this year?


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