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Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

This is part two of making your New Years’ resolutions come true. Last week I shared the definitions that mattered.

Most New Year resolutions are about stopping or starting a habit. A habit is defined in psychology as: “any regularly repeated behavior that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate. A habit—which can be part of any activity, ranging from eating and sleeping to thinking and reacting—is developed through reinforcement and repetition.”

That means that any habit can be learned or unlearned and if we make a resolution to invoke this change in our lives it can happen. Do we really understand what a resolution is?

The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

For the most part, we do not take our new year resolutions seriously. We say them but do not develop the resolve to carry them out. We do nothing to reinforce that initial decision. The tactic for making my resolutions come true is to make that initial decision into a mantra which reinforces my commitment to the initial decision. In stopping addictive behavior such a smoking, alcohol, drugs and hyper fixation habits outside help may be required as no mantra by itself will overcome these. I believe creating a mantra that requires actually thinking about the decision you are making and putting into words really helps to reinforce that decision. But even if we reinforce the decision with mantras there remains the issue of making the habit itself stick and that can only be done with action. The definition does say a habit is an activity. To really establish a habit we must both reinforce and repeat it. That is the action, repeating the activity. Although I can find no scientific studies to back up this next statement: my personal experience and experiences shared by other bipolar sufferers indicate, it takes substantially longer for bipolar sufferers to establish a habit. The common understanding that it takes twenty-one to thirty days to establish a new habit is not true for most bipolar sufferers. The realistic time frame seems to be three to six months before that habit becomes our new behavior without having to think about it. But armed with that information it is easier to keep up the commitment until our new habit becomes an ingrained behavior. The habit will get established it just takes us a little longer for that to happen.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

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Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Debbie Jacobs originally featured in BPHope Magazine