Habits, rituals, routines – we all have them. Some are helpful and some aren’t. Last month I blogged the three-day habit challenge. But there are some habits or rituals that take longer to break through. How can you stay focused and make positive change? I found a great article on presence practice that shows how you can change your life in five minutes a day! The only “secret” is dedication — if you really want to do it you can.
Each morning after you wake up but before you start work, school, or what- ever else you will be doing to fill your day, you are to find a quiet corner of your getting started with the one plan home, sit for five minutes in silence, and remind yourself to shift a behavior. When you need to engage in a process of self-inquiry, your task is to follow these steps:
1. Take the list of questions with you to your chosen sitting place. For the time you’re sitting, you can either use a chair or sit on a cushion on the floor, but be sure to keep an upright spine. You may keep your eyes open or closed, but closing them will help shut out any activity going on around you.
2. Choose a question from the list that you think might be relevant, and ask yourself this question.
3. See what thoughts, memories, or perspectives come up in response to this question over the course of five minutes.
4. When you identify yourself as exhibiting a behavior (“I don’t like spending time with that friend”), your task is to address that behavior by the end of the week.
5. If, by the end of the week, you haven’t encountered a situation in which to address that behavior (“I will let her know that I’d prefer to spend some time apart right now”), create that opportunity before moving on to the next week (“I will give her a call”).
6. If you finish reversing one behavior before the end of the week, go on to another question from the list.
7. Repeat this process in any subsequent weeks devoted to the same practice.