30-Days of Self Care: Kick Start Your Personal Growth

Ordinary things, consistently done, produce extraordinary results.

— Keith Cunningham.

Neural NetworksI love that quote. I’ve posted it on my computer monitor to remind me that I don’t have to do anything outrageous or spectacular to get spectacular results. I just have to do the little things, the ordinary things, consistently. When I do that, anything is possible.

So this month, I’ve started a new practice. I’m calling it 30-days of self care. The idea, in part, came from my experience with Mark Joyner’s Kaizen club. Kaizen is a Japanese concept meaning “Continuous Improvement.” And while, I love the concept of Mark’s Kaizen Club, in practice it didn’t work for me. I believe that I need more control over which specific aspect of my life I am improving. It’s an awesome program, and it may work for you. If you want to check it out for free, you can sign up for the free Kaizen Club trial here.

But I needed something slightly different, something that gives me more control. So this month I’m starting my new 30-Days of Self Care program. I’m basing this on research that shows we need about 21-days to install a new habit into our life. Have you ever noticed that you can begin doing something for a couple of days or even weeks  – exercise, diet, meditation, stop smoking, etc. – but after a week or two the old habits start creeping back in?

That’s because those old, existing habits are hard wired into your brain. You’re literally hard wired for overeating or channel surfing or smoking. And, in order to disconnect that brain wiring you need to create new wiring, new neural pathways that will make the new habit the default.

RiverThink about a river for a minute. The water flowing downstream is going to take the path of least resistance. It’s not going to jump over the river bank and chart a new course without some serious reason.

Your habitual actions are the same: They are going to continue to flow through the existing channels because those channels are the path of least resistance.

Fortunately, researchers have shown that it takes a lot less time to hard wire a new neural pathway than it does to cut a new river channel: About 21 days. 21 days is all you need to “hardwire” and create a new pathways. Until then, you’re using your will power to take the actions.

But think about it: If you can focus your intention and bring your will power into play for just 21 days, after that, habit kicks in, and the path of least resistance shifts to the new habit you are installing. Worth it?

I think so.

And that’s why I’ve taken the concept of the Kaizen Club and continuous improvement and created my own personal program. Each month I’m going to pick one specific self-care habit I want to change. And for that month, I will engage the new action I want to hard wire every single day.

By the end of the month, that new action should be a habit. It should be hard wired into my brain making that habit the default, the path of least resistance, and allowing me to move onto the next self care habit I want to install.

Here’s an example: This month I’m going to install the habit of going to bed with my room completely clutter free.

I know it doesn’t sound like much. And that’s the thing: Remember I’m looking to install habits where I do ordinary things consistently! I have a tendency to just throw my clothes onto the foot of my bed when I change into my pajamas. And after a couple of days there can be a pretty significant pile. My daughter sometimes brings toys into my room which can get forgotten and stepped on in the middle of the night. Other, miscellaneous stuff seems to mysterious accumulate in there for no apparent reason.

So my February self care habit is taking just five or ten minutes each night before I go to bed to put my clothes away, and clear out any other clutter that may have gathered in my room during the day.

Simple!

And by the end of February, these daily actions will become hard wired into my brain and I will have installed a new, supportive habit.

That means that by the end of the year I’ll have installed 12 new, supportive, self care habits. And I guarantee you that those 12 habits will make a huge positive impact on my life – in all areas!

So how about you? Are you willing to commit to making one change in your life for the next 30-days? Are you ready to hard wire a new, supportive habit into your brain?

Leave a comment below and let us know what self care habit you are going to install during the next 30-days!

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    5 Responses to “30-Days of Self Care: Kick Start Your Personal Growth”

    1. Tania on February 5th, 2009 11:30 am

      Great post Ed!
      Last October 1 I started this for myself. Every 1st of the month I work on something else. It’s made changes manageable and with each new month changing a habit becomes easier because you KNOW you can change in just 30 days. So far I’ve accomplished: gave up alcohol, gave up caffeine, gave up meat, started yoga and meditating daily. Clearing clutter is my February goal as well. I feel great but more than that I feel as though I am being more true to my Self. And the flow from the Universe has been very nice confirmation 🙂
      Blessings,
      Tania

    2. Alan on February 5th, 2009 3:42 pm

      Right On Mr. Mills:
      12 years ago I quit smoking 2 packs a day and it took a solid 28 days. One of my proudest moments in my life. The next 28 days I’ll become an expert squid and quality forum poster. It will happen a little at a tyme.

    3. Linda M. on February 5th, 2009 3:01 pm

      i have a word of the month and this month word is balance
      i need to learn to balance all areas of my life and take one day at a time

      this Feb, i am working on balances my life in severally areas of my life
      personal
      spiritual
      emotionally
      Linda

    4. Shosh on February 5th, 2009 9:46 pm

      Hi Edward,

      This is a wonderful plan and I’m going to embrace it full heartedly. Although I already made some nice changes in my life, there are more others to tackle, and that is what I’m going to do on a monthly basis.

      Thanks you very much for that article

    5. Myrle Olivier on June 15th, 2009 12:23 pm

      Hi Edward,

      This is realy a wonderful plan and I’m going to fully embrace it . Im at a stage of my life were I realy have to make changes and fast to ! I still don’t know how I found this web site but I’m so glad I got to this .

      Thank you so much

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