The 100 day promise - sandi amorim

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The 100 Day Promise A Guide To Changing From The Inside Out by Sandi Amorim Copyright Kindle Publishing Package Copyright © Sandi Amorim, 2015 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the author. Reviewers may quote brief passages in reviews. ISBN: 978-1-942646-29-7 DISCLAIMER No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, or transmitted by email without permission in writing from the author. Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretations of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slight of any individual or organization is purely unintentional. Any resemblance, within this book, to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental apart from my own stories that are true to the author. Cover Design: John Matthews Editing: Grace Kerina Author’s photo courtesy of Don Epp Photography. Dedication For my Mom, who taught me to read at a very young age and instilled in me a love of learning that has fuelled my soul and gotten me through many of life’s adventures. And for you and your relentless spirit, for every time you tried to change and failed, and for every time you picked yourself up to try again – thank you. “We’re all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: How Change Works The Myth Of Overnight Success The Cycle Of Change The Stages Of Change When You Know Better, You Do Better Chapter 2: The Hero’s Journey Stages Of The Hero’s Journey Start Where You Are EXERCISE 1: Creating An Outcome EXERCISE 2: Reclaiming Your Dream Chapter 3: Shifting Beliefs and Fuelling the Future Where Do Beliefs Come From? Why Do You Believe What You Believe? Unraveling A Limiting Belief EXERCISE: Getting Clear On What You Want What Fuels You? EXERCISE: Write Yourself a Love Letter Chapter 4: Values and Core Desired Feelings EXERCISE: Values Alignment Modal Operators (What Motivates You?) How Do You Want to Feel? The Desire Map EXERCISE: Feel Your Way Chapter Five: The Cycle of Rebirth and Forgiveness EXERCISE: Pause. Notice. Awaken. Act. Are You Ready To Forgive? EXERCISE: Karma Clearing Love Or Fear Chapter Six The Power of Ritual Types Of Ritual How Do Rituals Work? EXERCISE: Creating Your Ritual Creating A Visual Anchor EXERCISE: Creating Your Visual Anchor Chapter 7: Acknowledging The Journey EXERCISE: Claim Your Treasures Changing Your Mind Mind or Brain – Which Changes First? EXERCISE: Taking In The Good Chapter 8: Celebration And Completion EXERCISE: One Hundred Day Reflection Chapter 9: The Pitfalls of Change Traps and Pitfalls The Time Trap Additional Pitfalls EXERCISE: The Stop Doing List Interrupting Old Patterns EXERCISE: Checking In On Your Values Conclusion: Final Thoughts on Change Save Your Brain You Are What You Think Practice, Practice, Practice You Always Have a Choice Willpower Is Not The Only Solution Plan For Obstacles SET Yourself Up To Do Well Celebrate! Future Promises Sources Acknowledgements About The Author About Difference Press Other Books by Difference Press The 100 Day Promise Resources Introduction The idea for The 100 Day Promise came to me when I realized I was having the same conversation over and over again with clients and people going through my online programs. Many of them were discouraged because, in spite of a strong desire to change, they weren’t able to create the kind of change that lasts over time. After spending a considerable amount of time, money, and energy, naturally they were frustrated – mostly with themselves, but also with the self-help world, which makes change sound so easy. I wondered, if our good intentions weren’t enough, what was missing? What was needed to change with greater ease and effectiveness? I was inspired by my clients, but quickly realized I needed this information for myself. Like them – and you as well, I assume, or you wouldn’t be reading this – I had issues in my life that, no matter how hard I tried, just wouldn’t change beyond the initial phase of motivation. So I began studying the process of change, and out of that I developed an online program, the 100 Day Promise. The program is designed to guide you over the course of one hundred days to create a promise based on a change you want in your life, and to develop your capacity to follow through with daily actions to bring that promise to life – not only bring it to life, i.e. make it live in reality, but bring it into your life, with all the specificity that calls for. That first hundred day program gave me a real-life glimpse of what happens when we try to change. I saw where people stop themselves, as well as how resilient they are when they have the right kind of support. I uncovered my own personal blocks as I went through the program with them, and I created daily practices to keep myself on track that worked better than many things I’d tried in the past – and I was hearing similar results from my clients. “Go beyond knowing … to know how.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza In creating and making my way through the program, I discovered an obvious and glaring truth: when it comes to change, knowing isn’t enough. Having studied and worked in the field of human potential for close to twenty years, I know firsthand that knowledge makes very little difference in how effective you’ll be when you make a new commitment. Like my clients, maybe you’ve wondered what was wrong with you that you couldn’t keep a promise to yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there, too. What might happen if we learned how to keep a promise to ourselves like we keep a promise to a good friend? Asking myself this question was the defining moment that led me down a rabbit hole that included neuroscience, habit development, the cycle of change, the law of attraction, and positive psychology. Like Alice, I consumed what came my way, reading voraciously in topics ranging from science to woo-woo. I expanded with the amount of knowledge I devoured, and shrank in those moments when I doubted the whole project. In the end, the more I learned, the more I wanted to know and the more I discovered about change. When I began learning about change, I was irritated by how much focus was given to the belief that it only takes twenty-one days to change or create a habit. I knew it was not that simple and my anger intensified with every blog post and book I read that promoted this outdated information. What I’ve discovered is that change – generally speaking – takes much longer. Research from the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests that although the average length of success in forming a habit is sixty-six days, it can vary from eighteen to two hundred and fifty-four days. But go online or to your favourite bookstore’s self-help section and you’ll see how prevalent this concept still is. This twenty-one day myth has become a cliché that coaches and self-help professionals repeat too often and too lightly. It’s lazy and uninformed, and helps no one. When I began testing ideas with my clients, I paid attention to what worked and what helped them develop personal practices with greater ease and efficacy. Sustainable change was what we were after, and I knew I was onto something. Yes, change can and does happen in an instant, but more commonly it takes longer than twenty-one days, and longer still depending on the difficulty of the desired change. For example, creating a daily habit of drinking more water is more likely to take hold within twenty-one days than increasing your self-esteem or confidence, which could take a lot longer due to subconscious limiting beliefs. Always running in the background, such beliefs have more impact than anything else when it comes to what makes up your identity, but they also keep you from being your best self and changing successfully. The process of change takes time. It’s a practice and it takes work. It’s not random and it’s certainly not rocket science. (Side note: I once met an actual rocket scientist from NASA and she rolled her eyes whenever anyone used this phrase.) Another aspect of the online program I saw making a big difference was the combination of doing the work in a supportive community and sharing a public declaration within that safe space. As you may have experienced, it can be easier to keep a promise to someone else than to yourself. Making a promise and declaring it in a committed, supportive community is powerful. It may make you feel vulnerable, but it can also be the source of greater success, and even freedom. One hundred days is a long time for committing to a change, and I’ve seriously questioned the timespan. Most of my work is done online, and it’s there that you’ll find all kinds of challenges – twenty-one, thirty, and occasionally sixty days for changing a habit – but let me make two things clear: 1) The 100 Day Promise is not a challenge, and 2) it’s not a quick fix. After running the program multiple times and using it with clients on a one-to-one basis, I’ve found it to be long enough to get people past the discomfort that usually accompanies change. The hundred day timeframe creates a container in which satisfaction can develop as they see their desired change taking hold. One hundred days is also long enough that you’ll probably be tempted to break your promise and quit, but sticking with it will change your life. Once you’ve had the experience of change being possible in one area, you may find yourself using the skills you’ve developed in the program in other areas of your life. This is what has people return to go through the hundred day program multiple times. What will you have at the end of one hundred days? You get to decide. For some, it’s a new habit or practice in life. For others, it’s releasing an old habit or fear. What I’ve seen most consistently is that the timespan of one hundred days develops the capacity to eliminate what’s not working while providing a space in which to actually embrace what’s most wanted. The best part is that The 100 Day Promise gives you strategies you can use over and over again. Personal growth never ends, and there’s no finish line when it comes to happiness and satisfaction in life. This program is also a journey. It’s a structure that goes deeper with each promise you make, and this will have a profound impact on who you know yourself to be. When you take part in the online program, you get weekly modules and daily prompts to support you throughout the hundred days. In this book, I offer a view of the entire journey and include exercises and resources that can be applied to any area of life you’d like to change. I suggest you read the book through once, then decide how you want to proceed and use the book as a guide. If you’re ready to create change in a way that will make a real difference to your life, I’d love to support you in the next 100 Day Promise online program. You can find out more here: onehundreddaypromise.com Chapter 1: How Change Works “When people are ready to, they change. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” – Andy Warhol Change can be challenging, frustrating, and sometimes impossible, but we all want to change something about ourselves, don’t we? It’s okay. You can tell the truth. Even after years of personal development and coaching, I’ve still got a list of things I’d like to change in my life. I know this is true for you or you wouldn’t be here reading this and longing for something else in your life. You haven’t given up on what you want, and that’s why I love doing this work. I’m not going to lie – one hundred days is a very long time, and you may want to quit many times before you get to the end. The first thing I want you to understand about change is that this is normal. People quit on themselves all the time … until they don’t. The Myth Of Overnight Success “Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you – the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” – Seth Godin Are you ready for a reinvention? Transformations and overnight successes are common in the online world. We see them all the time, and it’s easy to feel a bit jaded by the promotional hype. We live in a world of over-promising, and it’s had a negative impact on our confidence and ability to follow through on our good intentions. But the process of change doesn’t usually go the way they say it will and we don’t often hear about the path that led to the transformation. We almost never hear about the effort involved to reach the successes; only the results, and if you’ve tried and failed in previous attempts to change, this only serves to trigger judgment and self-recrimination. “Intentions are a form of desire. Desire per se is not the root of suffering; craving is.” – Rick Hanson, Ph.D. When you make a promise to yourself, it always comes from a desire to change, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Change is what most of us want, but we deny that we want it, as though we should be more accepting of what is and not so focused on what we want. This denial sets in motion a craving for what we’re denying ourselves; if you’ve ever tried to lose weight or change your eating habits, you know how brutal cravings can be. How do we get there – to our desired change – from here, the feeling of dissatisfaction and longing? I’m an avid reader who loves words and their meanings, so I began my research about change by looking up the etymology of the two words that wouldn’t leave me alone as I researched: promise and change. promise c. 14th century, Medieval Latin: a pledge or vow; literally, to send forth into the future “Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.” – Hannah Arendt change c. early 13th century, Old French: to make something different from what it is “Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.” – Saigyo The 100 Day Promise is about creating and sending a pledge – your promise – into the future. When I first understood this for myself, I felt the truth of it in my body. Here’s another truth: The problem isn’t that you want change; the problem is that you judge yourself harshly when you fail to change the way you want. If you don’t get that sense of instant gratification promised by clever marketing, judgement kicks in and you create a vicious cycle that impacts any future attempt to change – and there goes any chance you have of successfully changing. So much for keeping a promise to yourself. “Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau When we really want to make a change, but feel defeated before we begin, is it possible to reach our desired goal? Is it possible to change when we don’t understand how change really works? My clients were asking these questions, so I decided to find the answers – for them and for myself. The Cycle Of Change “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson Understanding the cycle of change is the most challenging part of the hundred day process. In order for you to succeed at your promise, you first have to understand how change works. That’s what I’ll be sharing with you in this chapter. Though accepting it may be challenging, this is vital information you need in order to change successfully. One of my greatest frustrations as a coach is watching people beat themselves up for failing to keep their word. Understanding why we fail at change is as important as our desire to change in the first place. Otherwise, the cycle of failure continues. You know how you’re good at keeping a promise to your best friend, but you’ll blow off a promise to yourself? Understanding the cycle of change can help you narrow this frustrating gap and lead you to discover that putting yourself first is an act of self-love that impacts and fuels everything else in your life. Some days, especially as you begin your hundred day commitment, you may feel uncomfortable and want to quit. In this program, you’ll learn how to stay with your discomfort, and you’ll realize that the more you stay with it, the more you discover about what you need to move through it. We assume that change requires a dramatic shift. We’re led to believe that if we’re given the right kind of training, information, or education, then change will be quick and effective. The reality for many of us is that our attempts at change fail on our first attempts – and even on multiple attempts – and instead of looking for what was missing about the process, we look inward and find fault with ourselves. In Changing for Good, Dr. James Prochaska discovered (after working with thousands of patients) that there are natural steps we go through when attempting to change. Knowing about those steps is a good place to begin. This chapter is the most academic part of the book, but stay with me. Get through this part so you understand why you haven’t succeeded in the past and, more importantly, you understand how to succeed in the future. No matter what area of life you focus on, you go through these stages every time you decide there’s something you want to change. The Stages Of Change 1. Pre-contemplation You’re not even thinking about changing. You may even be defensive about your behaviour. (You’re reading this book, so you’re already past this step.) 2. Contemplation You admit there’s a problem and you think about overcoming it. 3. Preparation You’ve decided to change. You plan to take action. You may even feel inspired and motivated. 4. Action You’re energized and committed to changing your behaviour. 5. Maintenance You recognize that you need to put in ongoing effort to maintain the change. It seems like a lot of work, but you know it’s worth it, and you’ve even begun to feel proud of yourself. 6. Relapse (Recycling) You “re-cycle” by returning to the contemplation or preparation stage to prepare once again for action. You may want to deepen the change or begin a new cycle with another promise. It’s safe to say that because you’re reading this book you’re probably already in the preparation stage, and maybe even ready for action. When You Know Better, You Do Better Below are a few more things to know about change that will help you do better during your hundred days. Though they’re not commandments or rules, when you act as if they’re true, your view of the world will likely change dramatically. Change usually comes out of dissatisfaction, but is more effective when you link it to a desire. The more awareness you have, the more choice you have about how you’ll change. Change occurs in stages as a process, unless a trauma occurs in your life. Focus more on what you want to move toward than on what you want to change or move away from. You already have the capacity to change; it’s an evolved, built-in part of being human. Backward slips are more the rule than the exception. You will be able to apply what you learn with one change to any other desired change. In other words, you’ve got what it takes to change. You may need support and resources, and information about the change process may be helpful, but you instinctively know how to change. I’m sure of this because you’ve already changed many times before in your life. This is good news, right? In the next chapter, I’ll show you what the path of change looks like. It’s not always pretty, but knowing what lies ahead can save you time and energy and prepare you for making a change that lasts.
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