So, you’ve decided…
You want to slim down and get fit. Great. But first of all, if you really want to break your current habits and change your lifestyle you’re going to have to change the way you think —literally. Your habits, everything from what choices you make about food and exercise, to whether making your bed is part of your morning routine, is deeply mapped into physical neural connections in your brain. Your beliefs and behaviors, and all of your thinking patterns are kept in check in physical neural-pathways.
When you experience or try something new your brain forms a new pathway. Repeating the experience over and over again strengthens the neural pathway and soon, your way of thinking and actions have become a habit. Repeated patterns become cemented deep into our brain and are difficult to break.
The good news is that you can change.
You can breakdown and override the neural highways in your brain and build new roads! And that’s what you’re going to need to do. If you want to slim down and get healthy, you’re going to need to change the way you shop, eat and move. But first, you need to change your mind. The answer to change is already inside of you. You’re wonderfully made. You’ve had it all along.
Making a decision to change is only a starting point.
Let’s say that you have always buttered your toast. One day, you decide to stop putting butter on your toast. The toast pops; you remind yourself you’re not going to butter it. Every time you skip the butter you’re weakening the neural pathway that habitually has you buttering your toast. At first you’ll be reasoning yourself away from impulsively reacting. You’ll be reminding yourself and thinking through your decision. You’re going to have to repeat this pattern a minimum of 21 days to swap out your habit of buttering your toast, for not buttering your toast.
Rewire your brain to succeed:
Using our example, resisting the urge to butter your toast, thinking it through and remembering why you made the decision, uses the part of your brain that can reason before acting impulsively. When you do this, you’re actually making physical changes in your brain. You’re weakening your old thinking patterns. Repeating this over and over breaks down your old neural pathways and builds new roads to success!
How long does it take to create lasting lifestyle change? A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology says that forming new habits takes on average just over two months—66 days. Don’t let this discourage you. Use this average as a guideline.
Make your decision.
Erode an old habit. How? Replace with a new habit.
Know that you are capable of change.
Embrace the change.
Manage your expectations –set realistic, achievable goals.
It’s not all-or-nothing. If you have a setback, forget it and keep going.
Smaller steps in the right direction are better than huge leaps that break you down.
Be committed to achieve results.
What’s the secret to success? Keep Going!
It’s Your Life. Make it Good.
If you need help and support in making changes in you life, see my online services. Check out Heart-to-Heart for quick, private and thoughtful advice to help you make a decision.
Sherry Van Dolder