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I came across this great post over at The Daily Zen on how to make small amendments to your daily habits to effect positive changes in your life.

I’ve been working on changing some of my emotional and mental triggers that make me think negative thoughts or simply become irritable. With a gazillion children, a busy life, and no time for fun with my wife or friends, it’s easy to go into a negative spiral and blame everyone around you.

One thing that I’ve been playing with is a daily question that I have automatically texted to myself. It asks me at around 9pm every night, “Am I in a better mood than yesterday?” If I notice a few days in a row where the answer is No, I need to change something. If I have a few days where the answer is Yes, I think about what I’ve been doing differently to make for a better mood. In many instances, it is one of the 20 things listed below…

Change doesn’t need to be big all at once. It can be little things. The following post is a nice way to ease into better habits…

20 Positive Replacements to Make

     The best way to negate bad habits is to replace them with good habits.  Sounds simple, but looking at this list you’ll realize it’s a challenge.  Don’t get daunted, though– take small steps and make replacements incrementally.  Over time, minor positive changes will grow into major steps towards improving your life.  There are plenty more; these are just examples of replacements I’ve found beneficial in my own life.  Work on making your own customized list of bad habits and thoughts with their corresponding positive replacements.  Not only will it serve as a helpful guide to the changes you feel you should make in your life; it also might reveal to you personal priorities and values you hadn’t consciously thought about before.

  1. TV with books and magazines.
  2. Facebook with direct phone calls.
  3. Processed foods with home-cooked meals.
  4. Envy with neutral curiosity.
  5. Gossip with intellectual discussion.
  6. Procrastination with productivity.
  7. Candy with fruit.
  8. Beer with wine (or, ideally, water.  baby steps..)
  9. Down-time with stimulating hobbies.
  10. Driving with biking (if you live in the city like me)
  11. Pop culture with real culture (ie. don’t read John Grisham, read James Joyce.  Watch Citizen Kane, not Catching Up With the Kardashians)
  12. Procrastination with action.
  13. Worry with yoga or meditation.
  14. Computer speakers with quality speakers.  If you’re a music fan, you’ll be doing your ears and mind a favor.
  15. Frivolous purchases with calculated saving and spending.
  16. Ground beef with turkey.  Random, but turkey burgers are fantastic and far healthier/leaner than beef burgers.
  17. Multi-tasking with single-tasking.
  18. Anxiety with creative problem solving.
  19. Over-thinking with writing.  Keep thinking, but write your thoughts down and take a load off your mind.
  20. Self-consciousness with confidence.
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