Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January Word of the Month: Practice

I feel this is a great word to focus on for January because it is generally a time where we set new goals or intentions for ourselves. I personally try to set a goal or two to create greater health, happiness or well being for myself. Rather than setting a goal that I can complete and not think about again, these are goals that create good and positive habits and release the bad or negative ones. 

Creating this type of change can take years of practice, but not just any practice; it must be disciplined and deliberate. Disciplined practice is a way to make something a HABIT or a life practice - something you stick with no matter what, as a way of supporting yourself always. Practicing discipline is a way of supporting self-love & self-care.

One of my goals right now is to smile at my kids first thing every morning. This takes thought and practice but it’s a great way to remind them of my love for them every day and to begin on a connected positive note. Yes, sometimes I want to frown or yell because it’s 5:30AM and I don’t want to get up yet or they won’t get out of bed and are going to be late for school - two different kids obviously :).  Regardless of the situation if I smile at them first, they smile back and we’re off to a better start. I got this idea from my favorite parenting coach Cathy Cassani from Zen Parenting radio. Here is something she wrote on practice

Another one of my goals is to sit quietly every day. I know without a doubt that I am healthier and happier when I create this mindful time for myself… but it’s so hard to do! There’s always a million other things that feel like a priority and I have learned that the only way I will truly be able to make this a habit is through practice. I am compassionate with myself when I don’t do it- but disciplined and committed enough that I make myself do it the next day. 

So this month, as you focus on practice, remember it is not just in the typical sense, but rather with the intention that it will become a habit and create change over time. Sometimes your old habits might want to take you another direction and you certainly won’t be perfect the whole time but that is why this is a practice… be patient and be compassionate. 

Here is to a happy healthy new year!

-- Jill

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