Thursday, January 10, 2013

4 Things You Need to Know if You Want to Change Anything

Intro Comments: I wrote this post a while back, but I thought it was worth "re-posting" since it's the beginning of the year and making changes is so much part of the new year psyche.  It originally had 3, but I've added a 4th which I believe is essential.

Want to Change a Behavior? Engage Your Brain To Make The Change

#productivity #change 

1. Create something new in its place
The best way to work with a habit is to create one at time. Our minds can only handle so much and it’s much easier to feel like your accomplishing something.  An attempt to do too many things can easily become discouraging. (This is the premise of the 1% edge).

When you want to stop doing something, you really need to start doing something that will replace it.  Our minds don’t know how to stop because a habit of behavior – a pattern of thought has been mapped with neural-pathways in the brain.  They exist.  The way to overcome that?...create a NEW behavior or thought in it’s place, doing it consistently enough to the point where it overcomes the negative pattern.

Ironically, focusing on creating something new diminishes the attention given to the other behavior and thereby diminishes its power.  The new will over power the old.

2. Make it fun
When you create a neural-pathway, you also create or generate neural-peptides which are chemicals that cause feelings.  When you are creating a new behavior attach pleasure to the activity. In that way you're attaching "pleasure chemical" and thereby conditioning your brain to enjoy the activity.

3. Develop focus
When you decide and make a plan to create a change - develop focus.  Creating focus activates a certain part of the brain which cranks up the intensity of what you are focusing on and helps the brain map the neural-pathway faster and stronger.  That part of the brain is called the reticular activating system.

Your brain is assaulted by thousands of messages each second. Everything you see, hear, smell, feel and touch is a message entering your brain. The reticular activating system filters through all these messages and decides which ones will get page one attention over and over again - this is in fact the science of focus!

4. Set up accountability & support
This need is different for different people. In general, studies show that people who have external accountability will be more likely to reach their goals. Whether it's digital via an app, on line with progress tracking, a community format, or in person. If you want to insure the success of your achievement have #4 in place. Consider accountability and support achievement insurance!

Here are 2 additional posts related to the new year and change you might enjoy: 

Are You Being Tricked By The Word Resolution?

Are You Taking Advantage of the "New" in New Year.

If changing means managing your time better, getting different results, or organizing yourself, then you' want to check out: Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook - Audio Book -  The Seminar

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness

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