Part of my “3D Living Program” deals with exercising your will, which is part of your soul. Having a fit, strong will is critical if you want to make good decisions and live a healthy, prosperous life.
Habits are very simply repeated decisions that become automatic choices or behavior patterns. Obviously there are healthy, positive habits and unhealthy, negative habits. The soul is composed of your mind, will and emotions. The way to change negative habits into positive ones is to build up that soul “muscle” we call the will. You can (and must!) exercise your will just as you exercise physical muscles.
So how do you do this? The most basic way is to keep your word – to others and most importantly to yourself! Let’s say the negative habit you want to change is not exercising regularly. The way you involve your will is this: you make a commitment to yourself that you will begin by walking for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. It may even help to say it out loud to yourself: “I promise I will walk for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning next week.”
You would never think of going back on your word to a friend or breaking a promise to your child. Treat yourself with at least as much dignity and respect! Then when Monday rolls around and you’re tired and don’t feel like doing a walking tape or getting on the treadmill – you have to remind yourself that you promised yourself that you would – and then follow through. Each and every time you keep your promise to yourself – that “will muscle” gets a little bigger and stronger.When your quadriceps (thigh) muscles get stronger – you notice it gets easier to get up out of a chair or to walk up a flight of stairs. When your will gets stronger, you’ll notice it gets easier to do what you say you will.
It takes about 21 one days to create a new habit. So staying consistent for that period of time allows your brain to create new pathways. Then each time you have the choice of exercising or not – you have strengthened the new pattern of following through. It not only becomes easier, it becomes automatic. That’s when you know you’ve replaced the bad with the good.