3 Positive Mindset Changes to Get Unstuck From Bad Habits

“I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

I believe that true elegance is in styling your mind. Since I was a young girl, I always had a vivid imagination. It’s been both a blessing and a curse. As a child and teen, I often imagined faraway worlds with interesting characters on a whim. My mind was the place I hung out; it was the chic Parisian cafe I longed for in my backyard. While most other kids spent time with each other at parties or the mall, I lived a very private life. Quite often, what I imagined and believed became a reality.

As an adult, I strayed from my imagination and instead turned it into overthinking and anxiety. Spending too much time in your head is only a good thing when you’re decorating your mind space in a positive and happy way. 

Flourishing and thriving are the top orders of 2019 for me. This means ditching bad habits and replacing them with positive mindsets. It’s a call for me to put a priority on imagination and believing in myself.

At the end of the day, I’ve come to learn it’s those small, simple steps that lead to the most impactful change and adds a bit of sparkle back to a woman’s eyes.

Positive mindset changes to help you style your mind

1. Understand that you are not flawed

When we become stuck in old dysfunctional habits, we feel that we’re somehow flawed for not being able to flip a switch and change immediately. 

When you switch your mindset from focusing on all that is going wrong, or that you feel is wrong with you, to a place of non-judgement, you’ll begin to focus on changing your habits instead of punishing yourself for them.

When life isn’t going as we planned, or we’re depressed, it’s easy to focus on all our flaws instead of what’s good in life. I get it. It’s hard. It’s easier for our brains to beat ourselves up for why we’re in a particular life situation. It’s much harder for our minds to focus on what’s good about us.

When I find myself stuck in old, recurring bad habits, I tell myself I’m not flawed, but there must be a feeling or reason why I’m staying stuck in old patterns. So I begin a gentle inquiry. 

Why am I feeling this way? Why am I punishing myself?

Affirmations: I am worthy of a beautiful life. I am creating positive change in my life.


  • Gentle inquiry. Ask yourself: 
    • Why am I feeling this way?
    • Why am I punishing myself?
    • Write three things that are going well right now. This could be as simple as “I have healthy food to eat.”

2. Focus on what you can change

Obstacles will stay obstacles until you change your mindset. By learning how to turn your trials into triumph, or as the ever-wise Oprah says: “Turn your wounds into wisdom,” you’ll build your resilience for pulling yourself out of bad habits and sticky situations. 

If we focus on our past mistakes and obstacles, that’s what we’ll get more of. And it’s nothing but counterproductive. You’ll get nowhere fast.

But what if you focused on what you could change? That’s when miraculous things happen.

Think about it, if you focus on things out of your control, like other people’s thoughts, emotions, feelings, the weather, traffic, world disasters, and the state of the economy, guess where you’ll stay? STUCK. 

You’ll be miserable all the time and stuck in those bad habits you’re trying to change.

When I was a part-time barista, I’d encounter other people’s emotions, thoughts and negative energy daily. After doing this work for almost three years, I began to find myself getting caught up in people’s bad behaviour, meanness, and negative energy. 

Guess what happens to my mindset? Yes, you guessed right; I start focusing on how awful everyone is. I focus on what I can’t change. 

How do I turn this around? I remind myself I can’t change them or their thoughts, but I can change my feelings and thoughts.

Remember that in every situation, you have the power to change:

  • Your thoughts, feelings, decisions, attitude, emotions and perspective.

If you reconnect with your why and focus on what you CAN change, you’ll begin to focus your energy on the positive instead of the negative.

Affirmation: I choose to turn my wounds into wisdom.


  • Write three things you could improve on right now.
  • Next, focus on what you can change about each of those things. Write them down.

3. Do one small thing

Doing one small thing when you’re feeling less than, depressed or stuck could mean the difference between making progress or none at all. This journey of picking myself back up and revitalizing good habits back into my life means not biting off more than I can chew. All that does is create overwhelm and disappointment when I don’t finish a task I set out for myself. 

By choosing something small on your to-do list, you’ll feel fulfilled when you complete it. 

Think of it this way; one is better than none. 

The mindset shift here is being present and focusing on one thing you could change today. 

Affirmation: I am making positive progress in my life right now. 


  • Choose one small thing from your to-do list that you can accomplish right now.
  • Next, get it done, then celebrate that small win.

Bonus tool for making big changes:

Have a “thinking day” filled with self-reflection.

I’ve talked about this a few times before, but it’s highly beneficial when you’re feeling lost or stuck. When bad habits continue to invade our daily lives, it’s usually because we’re unsure of where we want to go or what we want to accomplish in our lives. Two words: emotional turmoil.

Self-reflection is a powerful tool. In our always “on” world, it’s something that many of us neglect to do. By quieting your mind, not only will you find calm and peace, you’ll tune into your intuition, which is your roadmap for living life.

Tips for a thinking day:

  • Do a feelings check-in. Check-in with your body, are you holding feelings in? I find that when I’m overwhelmed or letting bad habits back in when I’m trying to make changes, it creates a values disconnect. In other words, I’m not acting with integrity, and if I ignore those feelings, my body holds them in. I can feel it in my gut and digestion. If I feel nervous in my gut or have symptoms of IBS, I know that I’m holding stress and anxiety in for some reason. If I dig deep enough into my feelings, I know that it’s caused by not acting in alignment with my values.
  • Reflect on your life vision. And no, this is not the “where do you see yourself in five years?” type of deal. I loathe that question, by the way. Where do you see yourself going? What changes do you want to make? What does progress look like?

Positive mindset change takes courage; the courage to stop and look at ourselves authentically and ask, Is this the life I really want to live? And if the answer is no, make the easiest change, you can: change yourself. 

Tell me, what’s one bad habit you’d like to change? 

Comments +

  1. Jennifer Beck says:

    When I think of changing, it’s about making more positive connections. I often see something I admire about someone but then don’t say anything. It’s lovely when someone compliments me sincerely, so why do I do this withholding of joy? I can only say it was probably learned. I grew up in a strict German household where you just didn’t get compliments. I guess some believed it would “ruin” a child or “give them false pride” to express positives. Well, I am breaking this habit right now. Your e-mails give me a lot to consider and the more positives, the better. Thank you for cheering me on!

    • Michelle says:

      I think you’ve hit it right on. It’s something you learned in childhood. If you didn’t receive many compliments or the adults around you didn’t give any, you didn’t think it was something people do.
      Compliments create community and connection.
      I’m glad you’ve found where the mindset was rooted and are working to change it! Keep practicing giving sincere compliments daily and it’ll become natural.

  2. Dee says:

    I’d love to stop bickering with my partner, and get into yoga again 😀

    • Michelle says:

      You would love the book “The Big Leap”. There’s a section on why we bicker in relationships.

  3. Jenna says:

    Such an incredibly beautiful post! As someone in their mid-20’s, it can be easy to feel stuck or like you need to have your life completely together when the reality is, you’re just trying to figure out who you even are. I loved your line “I am worthy of a beautiful life. I am creating positive change in my life”. I am so guilty of punishing myself, and this line really stood out to me!
    I also love where you talk about focusing on what you can change, and how to take practical steps to do so. I’ve always been told “start where you are, not where you want to be/think you should be”. It’s easy to get so far down the road and compare where you should be to where you currently are.
    Thank you so much for putting it all into words! 🙂 This was absolutely beautiful.

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