Sunday, November 20, 2011

Changing Your Habits by Renee Corbett

We all have goals. Yet sometimes it seems no matter how many times we write them down, no matter how many times we visualize the goal, we still never seem to make any progress.


It could be as simple as changing your habits. The reason is simple but we all know that changing habits can be very difficult. Here are some tips to help change bad habits and create new ones.

Let's talk about your brain.

In the last 20 years many studies have been done on the brain, and the results have been incredible.

Many studies talk about the conscious and the unconscious brain. According to the book, The Answer, "The conscious brain is the part of the brain that thinks and reasons, the part through which you exercise your free will" and the unconscious brain "is where the great bulk of perception happens: it is where your habits reside, where your accomplishments and achievements take root."

What I glean from that is that habits happen unconsciously, you just do them because that is what you have been doing for a long time. Have you ever completed a task and then thought how did that get done? It just happens because your brain is used to doing that task or habit daily.

What does this mean for you and for you wanting to get rid of some old habits or create new ones? It means you have to beware of your brain. Your brain remembers the way you have done things for a very long time. To change the habit, you must be consciously aware of the old way of doing things, and the new way you want to do things.

Be Consciously Aware

Let's take an example. If you decide you need to make sure you get 7 hours of sleep each night, you consciously need to make the effort to go to bed at 11:00 PM if you have to be up at 6:00 AM. If you do not think about this habit you want to achieve, your brain will let the old sleep patterns take over. It takes your brain anywhere from 27 to 31 days to adapt to a new habit.

At the very least for the next 4 weeks you will need to tell yourself to go to bed at 11 pm. After awhile this will become an unconscious and natural habit that your brain will adapt and just tell your body at 11 pm, "We are tired and need to go to bed."

Changing habits is no easy task. It takes thought, effort and perseverance. For instance, when I worked for a computer retailer, I was expected to check my e-mail every hour, on the hour, for the latest communications from corporate. I worked there for 5 years, so when I left there it was the hardest habit to break. Checking my Yahoo! e-mail account once an hour was taking me away from what I needed to be focused on.

The very strange part is that I felt like something was missing if I did not check the e-mail; I felt like I was going to get in trouble for missing a very important email. I had to retrain my brain that it was no longer required and that it was a very bad habit. No one needs to look at e-mail once an hour, but it took a good 30 days for my brain to get it. So you see, consciously I got it, but it took my unconscious brain a lot longer to completely understand.

Write It Down

We may have the best intentions, we know we can achieve these goals; we write them down on paper or a "to do" list. We write it down and then continue to live this day like we did yesterday. To make this goal more real, you need to see it all day long. You need to physically be able to look at the goal throughout the day. Then you need to begin to take action on that goal everyday. This is where you need to retrain your brain.

When you are looking at the goal every day and taking steps toward the goal, your brain begins to see the pattern. The unconscious brain finally gets it, this is the direction you are now moving in.

Here's the simple thing you should do right now. Write down the goal you want to achieve in the next year. Then begin taking action. You will be amazed at your brain and its power in helping you to achieve your goals and dreams.

In summary, changing your habits for more productivity is easier than you realize. All you need to do is:

  • Retrain your brain

  • Be aware of what you are doing

  • Write down your goals

Extracted from StomperNet SEO Intelligence Report, October 21, 2011.

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