CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE

If you enjoy this article, please LIKE, SHARE, and follow us on Facebook.

What you are going to learn:
  1. Why Habits are so Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
  2. The Three Elements of a Habit
  3. How a Better Understanding of Habits can Help Us Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
  4. A Simple Approach to Overcoming our Natural Resistance to Change
  5. Why We Often Blame our Lack of Willpower when it is usually our Lack of Commitment that is to Blame    

People often say that change is difficult, and they are correct. Change is difficult, but we are all capable of change. Our lives are continually changing, learning to drive, marriage, having children, new job responsibilities, and new technological tools. Initiation is the most challenging phase of any change because when we are learning to perform new tasks, it is mentally exhausting. Learning to perform a new activity requires our cerebral cortex (“Conscious Brain”) to do the heavy lifting.

As the new task becomes routine, the more resilient basal ganglia, (“subconscious brain’), takes over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. Our conscious brain essentially goes on autopilot, and the actions flow almost effortlessly. You undoubtedly experienced this when you were learning to drive. In the beginning, it required all of your mental focus, but now you can drive, adjust the cabin temperature, tune the radio, carry on a conversation, and heaven forbid, use your smartphone while driving.

Change is possible, but it starts with awareness. The hardest part of creating a change in behavior is just not repeating the behaviors of the past. Approximately 40 to 45% of the decisions we make are out of habit.[i] Unfortunately, these aren’t conscious decisions. These are decisions our conscious brain has delegated to the subconscious brain. Our subconscious mind controls the performance of repetitive daily activities which frees our conscious mind from making countless decisions each day, which would lead to decision fatigue and mental exhaustion. For this reason, we aren’t mindful of actions we have repeated enough times to make them habits.
Continue reading “CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT WITH THE RIGHT STRATEGIES AND A LITTLE MOTIVATION, WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF GREAT CHANGE”

Advertisements

BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST

If you enjoy this article, please LIKE, SHARE, and follow us on Facebook.

One of the most potent strategies for reaching a goal is to identify the obstacles ahead of time and to develop a plan to address each before they are encountered. We want to be optimistic, but we don’t want to be a naive optimist. The naive optimist ignores the obstacles in their way and believes that they will not confront any challenges while striving to accomplish their goal. The realistic optimist believes in their ability to accomplish their goal despite the obstacles in their way. They acknowledge and prepare for the obstacles which makes them much more likely to achieve their goal. We want to have faith in our ability to overcome obstacles, not naively believe we won’t encounter them.

Research shows that predicting how and when you might be tempted to break a resolution increases the chances that you will keep it.[i]When you are working on developing a daily discipline, ask yourself: “When am I most likely to be tempted to give in? What situation is most likely to get me sidetracked? What excuses will I give myself to procrastinate?” Once you have such a scenario mapped out in your mind, imagine yourself in that situation, what it will feel like, and what you might be thinking?  If we are struggling to form a habit, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine what situations will cause us to slip off our path, because these situations must have occurred for us to be struggling with forming the habit now. Continue reading “BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST”

A DISCIPLINED LIFESTYLE DOESN’T REQUIRE A MARATHON OF EFFORT

If you enjoy this article, please LIKE, SHARE, and follow us on Facebook.

The next biggest lie about living a disciplined lifestyle is that it requires a marathon of effort. It doesn’t. It only requires you manifest enough discipline and motivation to make the routine a habit. The initial resistance we encounter doesn’t last beyond a couple of months. The authors of The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Truth Behind Extraordinary Results say success is not a marathon of disciplined action. It is a sprint fueled by just enough discipline to build a habit.  Habits are harder to start than they are to sustain. The key is to identify the behavior you need to adopt and then work at it long enough to make it a habit.

Continue reading “A DISCIPLINED LIFESTYLE DOESN’T REQUIRE A MARATHON OF EFFORT”

THE LAW OF DIMINISHING INTENT

If you enjoy this article, please LIKE, SHARE, and follow us on Facebook.

The Law of Diminishing Intent says the time to act is when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. When we delay, our intent quickly starts to diminish. The feelings grow cold, and the wisdom is wasted. We should follow through on the idea with action. The time to move is when we are inspired to act. BEGIN. Start installing the necessary habits and disciplines. Do it while the idea is clear in our mind, and the desire is strongest in our heart. Begin while your emotions are stirred.

Installing NEW routines and behaviors requires a herculean disciplined effort. Do not squander your desire. Put it to good use. Take immediate action. Hesitation allows your desire to install good habits that will improve your life to pass without being employed. Don’t allow the emotion to diminish through indecision. Indecision is mental paralysis. Indecision means what could be is postponed or may never be. Indecision means putting off what we could do, what we should do. Indecision means the opportunity waits. Indecision means the door remains closed. The longer we delay, the less likely we are to act. Our desire quickly erodes and fades from existence. The wisdom is wasted, and the idea is soon forgotten. “Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” Jim Rohn Continue reading “THE LAW OF DIMINISHING INTENT”

When you are Committed, you don’t need a lot of WILLPOWER

If you are committed, you will shape your environment, so you don’t need a lot of willpower. As the day progresses, our willpower diminishes and leaves us vulnerable to temptation. It is a lot easier to shape our environment then to try and exert control over it.
If you blew your diet last night eating junk food, I would argue that your problem isn’t a lack of willpower, it is a lack of commitment. Why was that junk food in your house in the first place? It isn’t good for you, and it isn’t good for anyone else under your roof. You don’t want to deprive your children? Of what? A lifetime of sugar addiction? A lifetime of struggling to control their weight and eating. Anytime you decide to change, you can. But it requires commitment. Shape your environment to foster good habits and remove the temptations that cause you to fall into bad habits. Continue reading When you are Committed, you don’t need a lot of WILLPOWER