Often times when we are making changes in our lives we think about the long haul. We have habit trackers in our bullet journals, on apps, or we cross of days on a calendar. We live under a false assumption that doing something for twenty one days will form a habit. Dr. Maltz, who was credited with this “truth” never stated this.
With the abounding theories on habits we live under the assumption that to change a behavior is simply to change a habit. However, that just is not so. We as humans more often live in the past or the imagined future than the here and now. There are not many of us living in the moment where habits exist.
How do we change our thoughts, attitudes, and limiting beliefs? By living in the moment with them. Miako Usui was a Japanese monk who also founded Reiki, a form of spiritually based healing. He addressed the issues in his own life and the lives of his students not by demanding habits be changed, but by teaching thoughtfulness in action during the day.
Instead of demanding his students never lose their temper again he instead directed them to not be angry for that day. Let’s face it, never losing your temper again is an imposing task. Anger is addictive biochemically. To say “nope, not doing it, no going back” is setting the person up for not only failure but for shame and self judgement. Instead, Master Usui advocated a day to day commitment. Every day is a day to choose anger or to choose peace. That simple. There is no right nor wrong. It is a choice with consequences, but not judgement.
When we take life day by day and make a commitment just for today we exercise better control over our thoughts, emotions, and habits. We are better able to stay in the moment. This is why this concept became part of the twelve step recovery model and a standard teaching in the spiritual community. It works. It allows us to be in the moment to create changes instead of living by routine habits.
Every day is a new day.
What do you choose today, just for today?