The simplest way to break down the concept of reframing is to look at it as “putting a new spin on a familiar concept.” We automatically reframe certain things in our lives – like changing our concept about someone whom we thought we would not like and then coming to find out that we have a lot in common with that individual. When we have the new realization, we naturally place that individual into a different category in our minds – a category that includes people we like. As we grow up, many of us reframe ideas about the foods we like and dislike, altering our perceptions to coincide with the altering of our tastebuds. So, the process of reframing is not new to any of us, and in fact, is used by all of us – albeit not always as a conscious act.
However, you can utilize this process consciously to help in obtaining your goals. For example, if you were working on developing a new habit of exercising every day, at some point (or at several points), you might be tempted to not go to the gym and your mind may automatically begin to think about all of the things you’re giving up in order to workout. You may think about how nice it would be to just be able to sit and relax in front of the T.V., to sit down and read a good book, or even to be able to run errands during that time rather than losing your personal down-time. This is where you can use reframing to your advantage. To reframe this, you can simply turn your thinking around to look at what you’re gaining instead of what you’re giving up.
When you think about all of the things you’re giving up, you’re fighting an up-hill mental battle that’s going to be difficult for you to win. Giving in to that mentality for even one day isn’t an option when you’re creating a new habit. You must be successful for 21-30 days consecutively in order to instill your new habit. Therefore, you need to change your thinking, choosing to concentrate your thoughts on what you are achieving, or what you’ll obtain, by continuing to exercise. Look at what you’ve visualized as the end-result of you obtaining that goal, whether it’s a healthier body, a slimmer body, or a body that’s capable of doing more than it has in the past.
Instill in yourself the habit of thinking about your goal, or its benefits, first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. And instill the same habit as the last thing you think about at night before you go to bed. Reward yourself, mentally, each night by complementing yourself for achieving your goal that day and adding another successful day to your new habit. Before long, with the proper structures in place and a bit of reframing to remind yourself of what you’re getting vs. what you’re giving up, you’ll find that you’ve successfully instilled, as a habit, your new resolution.