3 steps to rewiring your brain and transforming your life
What do you want your life to look like? What kind of person do you want to be? Are you happy with your career or relationship?
There could be many aspects of your life you want to change, but let’s face it: leaving our comfort zone for unfamiliar territory is scary. So, we make excuses and keep putting it off. But before you know it, next week turns into next year, and we are in the same exact place.
Regardless of where you are in this moment, I’m here to tell you that change is possible. First, you have to stop listening to those voices in your head telling you to give up because change is hard. Believe you’re worth it!
Ask yourself this question: “Have your past habits worked for you so far?” I bet not. So what do you have to lose? The energy you put in is the energy you’ll get back.
Once you commit to relinquish the old and embrace the new, you need to understand how the process works. Many of us have false assumptions when it comes to changing our habits.
Most of the time we choose unrealistic goals, assuming we can just change overnight – somehow becoming a completely different person. In reality change happens in baby steps, one day at a time. When we set such a high standard, it usually backfires; so, we’re essentially setting ourselves up for failure.
For example, we might believe that if we lose weight or reduce our debts, our entire lives will magically change. The problem is even if we meet these challenges, we’re likely to revert to our bad habits when we see that our old lives are pretty much intact except for this one improvement.
To break bad habits and create lasting change, we need to rewire our way of thinking.
How to break the cycle and form habits that stick
Much of the activity in your brain happens unconsciously and automatically. Our ideas, thoughts, memories and behavior are the result of a neural network – the various combinations of neurons firing in unique sequences. Over time, your neurons become so hard wired from your way of thinking that you have essentially programmed yourself to react or behave a certain way.
Whether you consciously realize it or not, you are neurologically wiring yourself – for better and for worse. The bottom line: where you focus your attention is what you neurologically become. Change can only occur by introducing new ideas, and then strengthening them over time until they eventually become ingrained in your mind.
If you are committed to turning your life around, start today with these three simple steps.
- Envision the person you want to become
Visualize who you want to be and the life you want to live. Having a vision brings clarity to your dreams and helps you stay focused when you get sidetracked or stressed. It reminds you of what really matters in your life.
- Set an intention toward a specific goal
Being specific about how you plan to achieve your goals will increase your chances of success. Get as detailed as you can about what you want to change. Setting an intention gives you solid ground to build on.
- Create a plan of action to help you get you there
For example, if you want to run a half-marathon, you could set a goal for running an additional mile each week. Rather than getting overwhelmed by your goal of running 13 miles, you can take it one step at a time. As you accomplish each goal, you will build the momentum you need to reach the finish line.
Did you know it takes about 21 days to form a new habit? Your brain is like a muscle, and it needs to be trained like one. So, be patient with yourself if you get off track from time to time. Focus on the progress rather than the end goal.