Monday Notes: New Paradigm…Old Mindset?

For the twenty-seven years that I had a relaxer, I’d been taught to only wash my hair once a week. Also, while using chemical treatments, I’d learned to be careful during workouts, in the shower, in the pool, and in the rain because if my hair were to get wet, then the style would most certainly be ruined, creating hours of beauty restoration.

However, in 2011, when I decided to wear my hair in its natural state, I found that wetting my hair wasn’t nearly as horrible an experience as it was with a perm. In fact, I learned that for my hair type, I had to wash it more often than once a week to maintain a “fresher” looking style. Water is good.

hairFor the first five years, I managed to wash my hair twice a week to maintain twist-outs. Since cutting it and wearing a wash-n-go style, my routine has increased to as much as every other day some weeks.

I’ve tried applying the old mindset with this new paradigm, sometimes waiting up to five days to shampoo and condition. You know what happened? It took me twice as long to detangle it. When I was done, there were clumps of hair everywhere, in the comb, on the shower curtain, and on the bathroom floor. And my head hurt. It was a mess.

That’s when it dawned on me: you can’t use yesterday’s mindset with a new framework.

img_5766We’re still in the season where people are considering a change and I think this message is critical. Many times we want to adopt a new practice, but we want to maintain the old way of doing things. We develop new relationships, but hang on to the ex in our DMs. We exercise, but still eat fast food three times a day. Or vice versa. We learn to eat healthier, but don’t make time to exercise. That doesn’t always work. New ways of living require new ways of thinking for comprehensive change to occur.

With that said, I know it’s not always easy to make behavioral shifts. Returning to an old mindset is simple because it’s been ingrained in our brain for so long. Maintaining a new discipline seems counterintuitive to what we’ve learned. But it can be done with a few small changes. For example, I think about where I have to be each week and then plan hair washing accordingly. If I have to leave by seven in the morning, then I plan to wash my hair the day before. This eliminates a stressful morning of hair maintenance, yet continues my natural hair practice.

The same can be said for other lifestyle changes. Maybe it’s too much for you to plan out every single meal or to wake at 5 AM every day to workout. But I bet you can plan one meal a day or find an enjoyable exercise at least once a week. Either way, a new mindset is possible.

What helpful tips can you share for maintaining lifestyle changes? How have you successfully shifted into a different paradigm? Have you ever found yourself sliding back into an old mindset while trying to change? If so, what did you do to get back on track?

Let’s help one another create a new mindset that matches our new paradigms.

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72 thoughts on “Monday Notes: New Paradigm…Old Mindset?

  1. Truth! One of my rules of success posted in my office is to “retrain your mind”. Mindset is powerful and old habits can prevent one from moving forward and ultimately doing what’s best for you…..or as in your case the health of your hair!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I backslide, get miserable, and then remind myself of what I was doing when I wasn’t miserable and start doing that again. Sometimes it takes longer than others to get back right. I wish I could just do what’s good for me and stay there, but I guess forgetting is part of the human experience 🙄

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  3. Your posts always seem to arrive right on time for me. I was just thinking about how I slacked off yesterday after having such a successful two weeks. “Changing” is probably the hardest thing a person can do. It’s always possible but it’s so easy to make excuses so we don’t have to. Vision boarding has really been helping me this past month. Having something visual to see the person I want to become makes those little steps in between seem less tedious.

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    1. Thanks for saying that! I’m glad you feel aligned with what I have to say 🙂 Thanks also for adding vision boarding as an idea. I think this works for quite a few people who need something concrete, like a map almost.

      Like

  4. I agree with you, “new ways of living require new ways of thinking for comprehensive change to occur”. Sometimes it takes time to change mindset; there’s always resistance to change even, if it’s for our own good.

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  5. when i was losing vision over a decade ago, i kept trying to ‘still’ be the same person, not wanting to belive that my life was going to change a hundred and eighty degrees. it was tiresome and depressing because i didn’t want to recognize the fact tht my life changed the moment i began losing vision.
    it took me a long time – actually it took me until i became completly blind to realize that i was no longer that same person as before and that if i wanted to have a life, i had to let go of my old habits, routines and way of thinking.

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    1. I can so relate to what you’re saying here, not in being totally blind but in losing eyesight (I still have some residual vision). After I lost my sight for a long time I kept saying I was the same person I was pre-sight loss but that isn’t true. The changes I’ve gone through while losing my sight were extraordinary and I’d like to hope that many of them have made me a better person in some ways. I definitely look at life a lot differently and appreciate that while I may not control what’s happening in my life I do have choices as to how I respond.

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      1. yes. i figured that out only once i was completly blind. between the time i realized i would keep on losing my vision and the time i realized i could no longer see, i let fear and negativity rule my life. it was a horrible few years, but once i reached bottom and realized life wasn’t as horrible as i feared, i started climbing again.
        i know though that i wouldn’t be the person i am today if i never reached that bottom first.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It was scary intially because I didn’t know what was going on. But after doing tons of research on my speicific situation and eventually connecting with other blind people, things began to turn around for me.

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      3. I intentionally sought out blind organizations because I hoped I wouldn’t feel so alone. What I wasn’t expecting was to befriend so many people and become so involved in the community. I was so busy I didn’t have time for my private pity parties (which at the time I thought I excelled at).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. you know, back then, it never occurred to me to search out for people going through the same thing.
        i was surprised later when i found an organization for women with disabilities. i guess i was too involved with self pity to think clearly.
        i enjoyed this discussion very much – despite the topic.
        we should talk more, i’d love to connect with you.
        jina.salameh1@gmail.com

        Liked by 2 people

    2. This is an EXCELLENT example. This happens daily. I find it fascinating how challenging it is for all of us to release who we used to be (myself included). Sometimes it’s even to the detriment of our health and well-being. Thank you so much for sharing this.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Many times we want to adopt a new practice, but we want to maintain the old way of doing things.” So true! It’s often easier to go with what we know, even though it’s in out best interest to change. I find that, I want something enough, I make it happen. It’s all about motivation and what I deem important. I wish I could be motivated by more things that are in my own best interest.

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  7. Great post, Dr. G. Forgive my ignorance, but did/do you study human behaviors?

    I start with a simple thought shift. If I’m stressed while driving, for instance, I’ll give myself a pep talk and remind myself to calm down, to breathe and to think about what will go right that day. Also, if I know I have a lot on my plate that day (or week), I’ll write it out, sometimes in the order I’d like to achieve, just so I don’t lose sleep or forget about it.

    Did I tell you this is a great post? A mind shift is definitely necessary for a life shift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kelley Kelley! What’s funny is I did not, but I always say that if I could do it all over again, I’d be a sociologist. I’m really interested in how and why human beings interact the way they do, like it consumes my mind.

      Baby steps seems to be the main way for many of us to achieve anything. A few have mentioned that and I think it’s important. Somewhere along the way we were fed the idea that change occurs overnight. I suppose that’s why we give up so easily. We don’t realize that sometimes it’s just a matter of one small shift, “a pep talk,” “breathing,” and so on that help create a huge change.

      And you know I’m a huge fan of writing stuff down (and checking them off).

      lol Thanks again 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Got it. And you can’t do it all over again, but you can do it now.. if you want.

        Baby steps is like.. a way of life. I’m actually apprehensive to things that seemingly blossom overnight.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. operative words: “If you want” lol I’ll pass. I’m good observing the world and talking about it with all of you. I’m beginning to think it’s more useful that way anyway 😉

        I hear you. Also, I had a thought since yesterday. Everything else does take time to change, even our bodies, so I’m not sure what makes us think we can make something change overnight.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I recently learnt about the Japanese practice of Kaizen – allowing just 2 min a day toward some behaviour you want to establish as a habit, kinda along the lines of what Leslie is going with a little each day toward a yoga habit. I started with the aim of 2 min a day toward tidying part of my home but abandoned it after about a week. I have since got a new approach for tidying, again taking a leaf out of a Japanese concept- the Konmari method I told you about. It seems more sustainable, but I can still see the benefit of a small chink a day. My approach is usually all ir nothing, which has its pitfalls but I have found the key to sticking at it is to forgive and move on from any deviations from the goal and get back to it. Guilt or a sense that it is too late to start over are the enemy. Great post Kathy! As for natural, for me since ’97 🌴🍃🌿 ok struggling for emojis here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine doing something for only 2 minutes a day because I think like you, either I’m doing it, or I’m not doing it lol Plus, 2 minutes just doesn’t seem like a lot of time. I suppose whatever works for our personality is what we should go with. It also seems a general consensus is to work at “it” a little at a time, which I do agree with (just not 2 mins).

      Glad the Konmari method is working for you.

      You’ve been natural almost as long as I had a relaxer 😉

      Like

  9. I find that as i get older, I’m more prone to slack off when I should writing and exercising. Instead, I’m eating a half gallon of chocolate ice cream (and I love ice cream)> So what do I do? I’ve learned that you have to take each day at a time. Long-term goals fail for me, day by day and soon it becomes apart of your daily life.

    Have a lovely day… jc

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding this JC. It sounds like easing into a goal is the way to attain one. Eating ice cream’s not so bad either 😉

      By the way, I sent you a DM on Twitter. Let me know if you’re interested in the content.

      Like

  10. Loved this! I have learned that when wanting to change it is a must that you step outside of your comfort zone. That is where you will find the strength to push forward and reach new heights in your life.

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  11. Old behaviors are comfortable even when they aren’t good for us. It’s easy to stick with what we used to know, even when we know better now. Fear of the unknown sometimes paralyzes us, but over time, we can make gradual changes that eventually lead to not so gradual changes and outcomes. Love the parallels you drew here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “…even when they’re not good for us,” indeed. Thank you for adding this part because that comfort zone + fear = no bueno for many of us. There’s no growth there. Thanks for the compliment ❤

      Like

  12. As usual, great observations about our personal behaviors, Kathy.
    So, here is something I am trying: I’m giving myself 6 months to a year to make some practices my new normal. For instance, I want to do more yoga at home in addition to the classes that I like to take. Instead of starting off the first week of January trying to do 30 minutes of yoga at home every day, I committed to 10 minutes of Asanas for two days. When I attended my classes I asked my instructor to show me modifications I could do at home, and I added those. I’m not sure how I will add to my practice this week, but I know that I tend to respond better to gradually building up to something instead of starting at the level that I aspire to reach.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Leslie! That sounds like a great idea. I think sometimes we think we have to start BIG and then that’s when plans tend to fail. Doing something a little bit at a time will probably ensure more success. Good luck with your Asana!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Change often involves a chain reaction, a domino effect. You have to be aware of that and prepare for it. Solutions come with problems of their own, you have to deal with those and tuck in loose ends if you want the change to stick. Don’t get so discouraged by a slip-up that you give up. Last year I resolved to journal every morning… frequently, I was derailed by early appointments, needing to get to the gym, simply forgetting to do it, etc. At one point, I’d had a 10-day lapse. I got back on the horse, picked up where I had left off. I tried to avoid scheduling appts in the morning. If that was unavoidable, I did my journaling later in the day. By the end of the year, I’d racked up over 200 entries. So I missed almost as often as I hit, but it was still far better than I had ever done before. Instead of chiding myself, I congratulated myself for making an improvement. 🙂

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  14. Love this, Kathy. You are encouraging growth and that keeps us young. I feel like I am never too old to learn or change old habits.
    Sometimes I fall back, but the key for me is self-love. When we care about ourselves (your hair-care is a wonderful example), then we are motivated to make those changes. It does take planning sometimes, but the benefits are worth it.
    Thank you for such a perfect post to begin 2018!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy! I agree. I remember once telling a co-worker that “I’d felt as if I’d grown,” after doing something for someone else. Her reply, “You’re already grown.” My point is I agree. I think sometimes we think because we’ve reached a certain age, there’s no more growth. That’s simply not true.

      It’s funny you should mention self-love! I’m doing a whole campaign next month centered on that concept ❤ Thanks as always for stopping by 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I can relate to the hair struggle. I’ve been natural since the 1990s however once I went through menopause that messed up my hair. It went from thick and luxurious to thinning. Over the years it has broken off and fallen out. Sometimes due to the weather, stress and age. Recently I cut my hair. However I do my best to care for my hair using natural products and keep it moisturized. Also I’ve found that menopause truly changes a woman’s entire body. Therefore I must take vitamins and food supplements. Now I understand why it’s called the Change of Life. My Body physical needs have changed and I’ve had to step up my game in order to stay healthy. Over the years I’ve moved towards a more Holistic lifestyle.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Love that you shared this DeBorah! Imagine the horror you’d be living if you didn’t change your health/maintenance practices as your physical body changed?

      And ugh about menopause in general. I keep hearing it’s literally life changing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is. However it’s not all bad. And every woman body is different. I had plenty Hot Flashes or Power Surges as I like to call them. But now as I approach 60 not as much. I think many of my hair and skin issues have to do with the harsh winter weather. My skin and hair don’t like cold. Right now I have a ugly skin rash but as soon as spring comes it goes away. My hair grows faster in the summer. Hot weather brings relief. My plan is to continue with the Vitamin and Food supplements especially Vitamin B12 and return to juicing on a regular basis. The juicing really helped my hair to flourish last summer. My goal is to juice at least twice a week and continue with my Vitamins.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I keep telling you to move on down here with me 😉 Just kidding. I know. I know. lol

        My mother-in-law told me long ago about juicing and B12, so I’ll have to take this as sound advice from both of you. We women just go through so much in life.

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      3. True. The only thing I didn’t experience was childbirth.
        Seriously if I could stay in Florida or Georgia from January to End of March then return to New York city around April 2nd My Life would be great. By April the weather gets warmer and I would be here for Stephen birthday on May 3rd.
        Hmmm I wonder if those poor frozen iguanas and lizards are still dropping from the trees? 🤔

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  16. “We’re still in the season where people are considering a change” this is what the new year brings in. A new year gives us the mindset to start fresh and make positive changes, yet as time goes and we settle in, with life happening all over again sometimes we get discouraged. Sometimes we get lazy and fall back into that old mindset. I’m still trying to figure out the best ways for me to stay motivated and on track but I’ve been closer to finding that way with trial and error, and inspiration from others. I think staying inspired plays a huge role.✨

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    1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Lee. I most definitely think that inspiration plays a huge role. A few people have given some great ideas as to how to ease into it. Just check above/below and good luck with this year’s goals 😉

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  17. Love this K E. I can shift pretty easy into playing some old tapes as I start down a new path. Its not so much that I don’t have the motivation, but that doubt creeps in. Im trying a new reframe of, when that doubt creeps in, instead of giving into it, or fighting it; I listen to it gently. Its usually just fear that is tripping me up. Then I try to reframe. Always a work in progress. 😃

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Alexis. This is common for me too. I have a thing about not being important to anyone, and so sometimes (like you) I have to stop and recognize “oh, that’s my I don’t feel important stuff swelling up,” and then I can reframe. So glad you mentioned this because I’m sure others might be able to relate.

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  18. I love the hair parallel. My hair has fallen out from stress and my eating disorder on a couple of occasions and has grown back with different textures. My hair became protein sensitive after one of the fallouts, so no coconut for my strands. It’s taken 5 years to figure out how to have a new good hair day, ugh. As for your question…I think it’s perseverance and trusting our own gut. Just because a hairdresser says one thing or anyone on any topic, doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s best for us. We are the experts in our own life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So glad to hear that this resonated with you E. Sorry to hear about the hair loss and transition phase, mainly because I know how important hair is to women, in particular.

      Thanks for that last part, “We are the experts in our own life.” I think it’s something that we should repeat daily as we enter the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great advice, again, dear Katherin.
    I also discovered, it is wise to plan a bit extra time before and after a ‘task’. If for what ever reason, I need a bit more time than usual, well, no stress 😉
    Wishing you a good week, hugs and XxX

    Liked by 2 people

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