• Sarah E. Brown

Take Control of Your Thoughts in Preparation for a Great 2020

I had the pleasure of being with one of my heroes the week before Thanksgiving. I participate in a marketing program for authors called Quantum Leap, offered by Steve and Bill Harrison. Since marketing (and selling) are not on my short list of either interests or strengths, I need special help to attend to that aspect of my business. This program has greatly assisted me in doing so.

It was through this program 4 years ago that I first met Jack Canfield face-to-face. He had always been a bit of a hero to me. He is probably one of the best-selling authors of all times, having sold more than 500 million books. His Chicken Soup for the Soup® books are iconic. And he is billed as America’s Number 1 Success Coach.

Jack has provided many ideas for my business. For example, he encouraged me to change the name of my books from Know Thyself Guides® to Book of You®. He also told me that, even though my books were customized, I needed to be found on Amazon, so he strongly encouraged me to write the book that is now Let Your Personality Be Your Career Guide.

In the workshops that I run now (both public workshops) and inside companies, I incorporate many of the principles that Jack taught me. I spend quite a bit of time helping women build awareness of their thoughts and how their thoughts impact their results. It is often quite a challenge to become aware of our thinking. It has become such a habit we are often unaware of what we are, in fact, thinking.

In my recent day with Jack, he offered several tips to become aware of what we are thinking. I share them with you now. They would be really good practices to put in place between now and the end of the year. Remember, it takes 3-4 weeks to break or form a habit. Practicing these techniques now will put you in a really good position going into 2020.

1. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every 20-30 minutes. Jot down what you were thinking when the alarm went off. If the thought were negative or not constructive for the results you want to create, practice right then shifting the thought. Let’s say for example, I am working on a piece of marketing material, I am getting stuck and I am saying to myself, “I will never get this right.” When the alarm goes off, and I become aware of what I am saying to myself, I can shift that thought to, “Yes, up until now that is what I have said to myself. But going forward, I am going to get the help and support I need to generate the right marketing messages for my clients. I can do this, and I can best reach the women I want to serve if I do.” By 2020, I will be thinking differently about this topic, and you can, too.

2. Spend time each day visualizing what you want to create. This, too, is an integral part of the workshops I lead. We get very clear about goals, and then we visualize ourselves as actually having achieved those goals. And we hold that visualization until we can feel what we will feel when we have achieved this. This is how we prime our subconscious mind to start working on achieving the goals.

3. Implement a Daily Gratitude Practice. If you already have a daily practice, then juice it up with a different practice. So what I am doing between now and January 1 is recording 3 things I was grateful for that day in my journal right before I go to bed. I am going to write at length in the near future about the research associated with the effects of practices such as this. But for now, I just want to emphasize how it helps us to take control of our thought patterns. When you do this, you are consciously generating thoughts that will help you create what you want in your life. And if you struggle with coming up with 3 things, you will become aware of what you have been thinking.

4. Stop watching the news incessantly. If you are a news junky, start by paying attention to how you feel after watching the news and then pay attention to what your thoughts are. Ask yourself, is this how I want to be investing brain cycles? You can then shift your thoughts. Or you can do what I am doing for the month of December. I am only going to watch the news 3 times per week. If something critical happens, I will know about it from alerts on my phone. And not much tends to happen in 2 days time. I am only taking a holiday from the news for a month to see what effect it has on my habitual thinking.

Jack Canfield has always advocated living life in 30-day experiments. So here are a few suggestions you can experiment with for 30 days to see if it helps you gain better control of your own thinking.