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Writing a Better YOU!

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Writing down your goals are very important when it comes to the goal setting process. “But, why?”, you may ask.

It is easy to think that having your goals all figured in your mind makes achievement certain. Let’s consider our every new year’s eve ritual- new year resolutions.

Now, try to recall  how many resolutions you made for this year have been actualized at the moment and evaluate the chances of achieving them by the end of the year.

Let’s face the facts!

  • 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
  • 60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success.)

A conclusive research by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor  in  California proved the effectiveness of writing down goals. In this study,  participants who wrote down their goals achieved more than those who did not.

It would be a costly mistake to drift through life not knowing what you wanted out of it, let alone take the necessary steps to achieving it. You can make your life more goal directed and purposeful by committing yourself to your dreams by writing them down and coming up with an action plan to make it a reality.

Here are some reasons for writing goals down:

1. Writing your goals  help your clarify and specify what you really want. Translating thoughts into words make the thoughts more concrete.written-goals-214x300

2. Writing your goals  makes you committed to fulfilling them

3. Writing serves as a constant reminder of what you intend to achieve and what you can do each day to make it a reality

4. Writing helps you see, evaluate and celebrate your progress which boosts your confidence.

5. Writing keeps you reminded of your goals. The palest ink is better that the sharpest memory

6. Writing your goals help you visualize them, the steps and obstacles on the way to achieving them. With this, better preparation can be made to remove the obstacles.

Now that you may have been convinced of the need to write your goals, examine some of the goals you have thought of. It may relate to your personality,your job,  your career, your family, your finances, etc.

WRITE THEM DOWN!

Of course, writing your goals is not an end, but a means to an end. It is only an initial phase in the goal setting process. Soon we will consider how to write down your goals.. Stay tuned

Have you ever committed your goals to writing?

You not only become your thoughts, you become your written words!

Please share one or two of your goals with me either by commenting or sending an email on drmorayojimoh@mobilehealthconsult.org

Together we can achieve more!

 

 

 

 


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Conquering Bad Habits

A persons personality can be described as a collage of habits which the person expresses. We are our habits and our habits make us. The more good habits we have, the better people we tend to be. Bad habits, which are negative behaviour patterns, however, hold us back from reaching our full potentials. Bad habits, as we know, are detrimental to our well-being; they affect us physically (e.g smoking and its adverse effects on the lungs) and mentally (habitual lying, See our previous post The importance of being honest ). You can conquer your bad habits of procrastination, overspending, smoking or even nail-biting and picking your nose, but first you have to assess the origin of such habits and circumstances that trigger them.

Some bad habits, such as smoking and overspending, often start when a person is under a lot of stress. Gratification is often used in such circumstances to take our minds off the stressor. This may not sound so bad initially, but this is how most bad habits begin. The reason being that when we gratify ourselves, the pleasure we feel is initiated by the release of dopamine from from the limbic system to the  pleasure centers of our brain. Behaviours that trigger this release are then more readily reinforced as we naturally enjoy pleasure. The problem is it is more difficult to be moderate which such behaviours and they soon interfere with our lives and become bad habits.

Most of the time, bad habits tend to ease the ‘here and now’ and provide immediate satisfaction, not thoroughly thinking of the future consequences or effect they’d have on us. This is seen especially in procrastination, which most of us are often guilty of. So if you are serious about conquering your bad habits and you are ready to make a firm resolve, the following actions are necessary:

1. Increased Will power

can do!

You have to make a strong resolution that you are willing to stop whatever bad habit it is. You have to remind yourself of it’s adverse effects in your life and that you can indeed control this behaviour. This is something you do daily to increase your willpower and subjugate the habit. Remind yourself that you are in control of your actions and not vice versa. You can even write it down in a diary or somewhere you can see it each day as a reminder. Stop for a second now. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I am in control!”.

 


its-possible-to-rewire-your-brain-by-breaking-out-of-the-way-you-naturally-think2. Re-wire your brain

Some say we are creatures of habits and this is due to the way our brains are wired. The more we do an action, the stronger the neural connections relating to that action. This is how practice makes perfect. However, this is also how we automatically or subconsciously find ourselves indulging in our bad habits, the neural connection is usually strong. An environment or situation, that your brain has associated with you carrying out a certain action, could even trigger bad habits. Therefore, you have to re-wire your brain. Associate healthier actions with environments or situations you used to associate with bad habits. This is something you have to do daily for about a month (some say between 21 and 28 days before a bad habit is broken) in order for new neural connections associated with the situation to be established.

 

3. Reflect

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Take time out to reflect on your actions and how they affect your body and well-being. Reflect on who you are now as a person due to this bad habit. Understand that at this moment you’re doing fine without it. Imagine the future consequences of your bad habits. The anxiety caused by too much procrastination or the disappointment you’d feel when you realize your broke again due to overspending. Whatever situation you can relate with. Stay relaxed and imagine how you’d feel if you finally got rid of this bad habit. Experience the momentary joy. Realize when your body begins to crave for this bad habit and what alerts your senses to it. Once you are able to do this, you’d find that you begin to know the initial physical and mental signs that often lead to you indulging in this habit again and can make a conscious decision to stop before you begin to consider it. (For a full mindfulness meditation experience go to  http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/?page_id=1008)

 

4. Have a support group

Confide with your friends and family if you can and tell them about the difficulty your having is stopping this bad habit. support-groupYou’d find that some of your friends may be going through something similar or even the exact same problem. They may have other ways of dealing with bad habits that they could share with you. Meet with a group maybe once a week to share ideas and to find support. This is one of the most effective methods of conquering bad habits. Find people you can relate with and vice versa and help each other.

Moderation is key

Remember to do all things in moderation. Not too little and definitely not too much. Especially things that bring us pleasure. Discipline is very important if we want to prevent ourselves from bad habits. Be moderate.

If you try or you’ve sincerely tried all these and you persist in relasping, it is advised that you seek a psychotherapist as you may not just have a bad habit but an addiction.


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The Importance of being Honest

Take a moment and try to remember the last time you told a ‘small’ or a ‘white’ lie…

Do you remember how it felt?

Now, take another moment and try to remember the last time you told a major lie…

Do you remember how it felt?

If you were caught, can you recall how you felt at that time? Not a very good feeling I presume. person_ashamed1

Whatever the size of the lie, big or small, lying makes us feel uneasy. There’s a valid reason why Benjamin Franklin professed Honesty as the best policy. It affects us psychologically, emotionally and even physically. Here are a few points to emphasize the importance of being honest.

1. You become less anxious when you’re more honest. There’s no such thing as a relaxed liarrelaxed-woman
. Studies have found that lying triggers the release of stress hormones. These hormones make us anxious and increase our heart rates and blood pressure. Hence the more we lie, the more anxious and stressed we become. Honesty makes us more relaxed generally, psychically and mentally.

handshake2. Honesty improves self-confidence and trust. When we lie often, especially about ourselves, we get caught up in that fantasy that we become dissatisfied with our present selves and begin to lose confidence. It’s almost like one has to lie to look good, and deep down is aware of that. You begin to depend on lies instead of your ability to improve yourself and cope with the circumstances. In addition, others would soon begin to realize that you lie often and consequentially lose confidence in you and brand you as dishonest to others. You also begin to lose trust in yourself. On the other hand, an honest person is almost always acclaimed by his or her peers and has a lot of peoples trust. He would have a lot of responsibilities due to this trust, which will in turn boost his or her self confidence. Being honest makes us self-affirmed.

3. Honesty improves relationships. In all types of relationships, once trust is broken it is normally difficult to fix. laughing-coupleContinuous dishonesty goes the extra mile to damage almost every relationship you are in. This would be evident soon enough to make you unhappy and could cause you to sink into depression. Honesty does the exact opposite. It solidifies every relationship you’re involved in and improves the likelihood of you forming new good relationships with people you meet. Good relationships ultimately improves our overall happiness and well-being.

There is no little or ‘white’ lie. Habitual lying begins from lying about the little things and almost always ends up with one lying about the bigger things which could cause substantial damage in ones life. On your road to habitual honesty, start by telling the truth about the littlest things and in time you’d find that recourse is always telling the truth.

The truth shall set you free! That’s psychotherapy is very effective, it’s based on complete honesty. It’s the first step towards solving any problem. Be honest, with yourself and with others.

Life comes down to honesty and doing what’s right. That’s what’s most important.

– Bob Feller


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Keep your child mentally active!

In this brain awareness week, it is important to realize that there is a dire need to encourage the appropriate development of children mentally. Keeping your child mentally active is one of the best things you could do for that child. This is vital as the brain of a child is more ‘plastic’ than that of adults and hence more prone to change. The learning of new helpful habits and exercises would boost your childs mental abilities and ultimately benefit your child in the future. Below are different ways to keep your child mentally active!

1. Encourage them learn to play instruments:   Playing an instrument as a child, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association (APA), keeps the mind sharper as the child grows. As enjoyable as it may be, it is a challenging cognitive exercise which would keep your child mentally active!

2. Encourage them to read wide: kid reading bookBesides doing their homework or reading books their school requires them too, encourage them also to read other books they’d enjoy. Pick different but interesting knowledgeable topics such as animals, planets and even fantasy so they have broad knowledge. This way reading does not become a chore but a hobby. Find time to read with your children in order to bond with them and make reading a fun experience that would keep your child mentally active!

3. Encourage them to solve picture puzzles: pat1-624x395Picture puzzles are a great way of tasking a child mind. Picture puzzles have been found to exercise both parts of the brain. The logic and sequence of the left-brain and the creativeness and intuity of the right brain are utilized when solving picture puzzles. Use colourful picture puzzles and different ones as well so your child does not get bored by solving the same puzzle again and again. New picture puzzles would bring new challenges that would keep your child mentally active!

4. Encourage brain training games:OfferButton1-sm Brain training games are different from other video games as they are developed to target and develop specific areas of your child’s brain. The aim is to improve the overall mental ability of your child step by step using fun games. Brain training games such as Brainware Safari use proven clinical approaches to cognitive skills development into an engaging video game format that children enjoy. This is a very good way to keep your child mentally active!

5. Encourage outdoor games and physical activities: Kids-Playing-OutsideFresh air and enough space to run around and play are also vital for your childs mental development. Physical activities with other children helps your child develop social skills such as co-operation and empathy towards others. Good social skills and a good social life would help keep your child mentally active!

6. Encourage reduced television time:Kid-watching-TV Too much television is unhealthy for a child mentally. This is the stage were their imaginations are to go wild and free, but television restricts that. Encourage other enjoyable activities and allow your child watch television on a few occasions in order to keep your child mentally active!

Start today! Encourage and challenge your child daily. This will boost confidence, increase resilience and KEEP YOUR CHILD MENTALLY ACTIVE!wavebreak-media_smart-kid-blackboard-300x300