Resolution to Reality… Let’s do it!
Resolutions can come true if you approach them with the right mindset. When forming new habits or resolutions, it’s important to understand how your brain can help and hurt you during the process. For many years, neuroscientist Robert Cooper has studied what it takes to achieve goals. At the 2015 Bulletproof Conference, I attended a great seminar where he explained what it takes to achieve your resolutions and form new habits once and for all.
Practice the habit you want more frequently, even if it’s for a very short period of time.
Your brain starts to believe the new habit is possible when you experience it more and more often. For example, if you want to eat healthier, start practicing by having just a few bites of vegetables with your meal.
Do one goal-oriented action step within the first 22 minutes of waking up.
The first 22 minutes set the momentum and tone for the rest of your day.
Bring the goal into focus more often every day.
Set alarms in your phone to remind you of the goal and/or identify an external cue that will trigger you to think of your goal. For instance, you could make an effort to think of your goal every time you get into your car or every time you make your morning coffee.
Reflect on your resolutions and actions daily.
Ask yourself what you learned during the day and what breakthroughs you made.
Center your resolutions around emotions.
This makes the goal more meaningful and authentic. How do you want to feel when you achieve your goal? For instance, instead of setting a goal to lose 10 pounds, set a goal to be able to play with your kids without getting tired and out of breath.
Make an “If-Then” strategy plan.
Make a list of all the things that could go wrong when trying to achieve your goal. Next, write an “If, then” statement about how you’ll deal with it.
Speak to yourself like a life-coach would speak to you.
Use your first name when talking to yourself in your head. For example, “Hailey, I know you want to watch TV right now, but it will be much more enjoyable to watch TV after you finish X task.”
After 20 minutes of focus, take a break.
Then, re-commit to the task. Our brain needs to rest periodically. It’s harder and more time-consuming to recover your brain power after a full burnout than to preserve your energy by taking short breaks throughout the day.
Measure progress every Friday (or once a week).
Progress may not happen every week, but it’s important to track it. If there’s an overall positive trend, you’re well on your way!