The final days of 2023

How are you using these final days of 2023?

Just this morning I pulled out my journal from the past year and sat down with a cup of tea to do some reflection on all that has transpired in these last 365 days.

I also find myself dreaming about 2024 and what I would like to see come to fruition.

As a psychologist, I’m in the business of transformation and behavior change. I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading the psychological research on successful behavior change. I hate to report, but the literature is not clear cut. The only repetitive finding is that behavior change is hard.

Our brain prefers consistency. This tendency toward maintaining patterns at all costs is great for behaviors we want keep doing, but absolutely dismal for those things we want to change. Our brains actually register change as a mistake, hence one of the reasons we all have resistance to change.

And yet….change is possible. Neuroplasticity suggests that no matter how old we are, or how set in our ways, it is possible to create new patterning and new neuronal networks.

Based on my experience studying both psychology and yoga, I’ve come to a theory that part of the problem with changing behaviors is that we try to use our mind to make the changes. We think through our life, we identify what isn’t working, we analyze why, and then we rationally create a plan to change it.

Usually left out of this equation is our feelings, our body, our unconscious mind, and the larger trajectory and purpose of our life.

What I have learned over and over is that our mind cannot shift us. Thinking will not get you out of your unhealthy patterns.

We must all learn to think outside the box…and our mind is the box.

It takes something deeper to really make a shift. I believe the power to make the shift comes when we get in our body, connect more to our intuitive mind, and start to ask ourself “Who do I want to become?”

For more guidance on tuning into your wise mind as a source of guidance versus solely relying logic, join me for Wisdom Wednesday this coming week on January 3.