Quick Hack For Changing Behaviours

Creating change in our own behaviour is far easier when you get that structure trumps content.

Every other day I get an email or two asking for tips on how to change some behaviour.

At its core, change can be truncated to:

Stop doing one thing.

Start doing something else.

Of course, it would be lovely if simply saying stop/start was enough. It typically isn't.

Your brain and nervous system need an education on what you want it to do.

By being exposed to the new behaviour several times, you give your brain the chance to wire up the requisite neural pathway for that response to become automatic.

Alas, our brains like Windows Vista.

At the heart of the code is the potential for a great operating system, however, upon first boot it's full of junk code.

For example when you say to your brain "go to the gym", if it's got the default code running, you'll notice it will start doing all kinds of weird things like:

  • picking up the TV remote

  • opening up another browser tab for YouTube

  • surfing Facebook

Anything but the darn thing you asked it to do.

When the code you are running is that buggy, here's a handy trick for you to do.

Don't give it a command like "go to the gym", instead focus on completing the next step in the process that leads to the outcome you want.

For example, I'm about to go for a swim.

But my shoulder is telling me it's tense and my brain just told me "the water in the pool will be cold plus the pool will be really busy."

All positive ;-) encouragement for me to NOT go.

Basically the brain is incredibly conservative when it comes to energy output.

Going to the pool requires me to raise my energy, grab my gear and walk a half-mile to the pool.

Or I could stay in and eat some nice cookies (Belgium choc chip... mmm!)

So to trick my brain... to make the perceived effort lower and pathway to the result far easier I switch my focus to the process.

In this case, I see myself going to my towel rack, picking up a towel and shorts, dropping it inside my gym bag and picking up my googles.

My brain goes "that's easy!"

Next, I flash snapshots of my front door opening, see the gym bag on my back and visualise myself walking across the street.

The brain goes "that's easy again!"

My brain doesn't have time to throw up objections and now I notice my brain is wondering "where are we going?".

By shifting your focus from the end result to the direct next physical action, running the simulation through your mind and seeing yourself being successful (and it is enjoyable) before you even start, you short-circuit the buggy code in your brain.

[Actually, you've stopped your brain from doing one thing (the old response) and started it doing something else (the response you want).]

The whole process can be completed in 20 seconds.

I'm off to the pool now, with no drama.

What could you use this hack on today?

It's a simple hack that can change your life.

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I'm Tom.

Everyone has something they’d like to change in their life. I’m here to help you transform the behaviours that get in your way so you can have the life you really want.

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