Our brain is directly responsible for our behavior, but why can’t we simply make a decision to change and create the behavioral changes that we desire? It is actually much easier for us to change patterns when we understand how the brain really works. The best thing for you to recognize is that your brain is designed so that it conserves energy. Running old brain patterns, or habits, takes less energy in comparison to creating new ones. This is why we have a tendency to repeat old patterns rather than to do things in a new way.
There are numerous things you can do to get started making changed to your behavioral patterns. You can start by taking notes, writing down the behaviors you want to learn on cue cards or sticky notes and placing them where ever you often spend time. If they are items that you might find personal you can write the notes using pictures, symbols or abbreviations to mask their meaning. Good places to put your notes for behavioral changes might be at eye level on the fridge, on your desk where you will constantly see it or somewhere in the car where you constantly be reminded. Constant reminders ensure that you are committed and serious about this commitment. Additionally every morning you should imagine that the change has already happened and that you are reeling in the success of your hard work.
Next, there are exercises you can do to essentially trick your brain into helping you with the outcome you want even when you are not actively thinking about it. First get something to write on and then start writing down 5 things you will feel, 5 things that you will see and 5 things you will see when you complete your goal. Additionally consider utilizing a good trustworthy friend to help you. Tell them your goals for behavioral changes, the outcome you want and each milestone along the way. Ensure you check in with that friend often so they can help ensure you are hitting the milestones you wanted. If the changes you want to make are going to take time out of your schedule make sure you set time aside each day to complete this task, use a planner or a scheduler if you need to. If you have to skip your appointment with yourself for any reason make sure you take note why.
One thing to try is to pretend you have a button on the inside of your wrist that will allow you to feel success when you choose. The idea behind this is that when you push the button you will think about your goal in color and make sure you are feeling and seeing your goal. Take advantage of this frequently, whenever you want. Simply thinking about your goal often as possible will help and make sure that you don’t abuse yourself, be realist and accept that small changes over each day are going to make a big difference even if you aren’t seeing a huge payoff for these behavioral changes yet.