New You for the New Year!
In the first part of this blog, we discussed goal setting. There were some great inputs from members of my online family around the topic of how to end this year and I’ve reproduced their main points below -
@LauraO’Connell – “reset and rejuvenation brings innovation”
@ViloshniMoodley – “planning and adaptability are the key lessons to learn from 2020”
@LizFranklin – “prioritize 2020 goal completion and plan 2021 strategy”
@EdnaChepkurui – “small steps and be flexible”
Thank you all for your valuable contribution.
In this second part of the blog, let’s address the aspect of “goal getting”.
We’ve heard and read about the scientific fact that our brain is more powerful than the most powerful computer. So why then do we have so much difficulty sticking to our goals and achieving the desired outcomes? Why do so many people begin every new year with dreams and plans to make it their best year ever and then run out of steam a few weeks or months into the year?
The answer lies in neurological science. Our brain has two components – the conscious and the subconscious. We make all our plans with our conscious brain and the subconscious brain plays spoilsport and sabotages our plans. Not exactly like a quintessential James Bond villain with guns, gadgets, and henchmen, but you may think of it as our very own version of “Dr.No” living inside our heads!!!
The subconscious brain wants to protect us from the unknown (following the “stranger danger” theory!) and therefore keeps us stuck to old habits and mindsets making it very difficult for us to change! Millions of years of evolution to keep humans safe and protected from extinction have made our subconscious brain way more powerful and faster than our conscious brain. According to neuroscientists, only about 5 percent of the brain’s activities happen at the conscious level, the rest happens at the subconscious. So it is like pitting a lion against a poodle…we know who’ll win that fight, right? Almost all our goals have to do with a change of some sort, and the subconscious brain resists change so we find ourselves failing over and over.
NEUROPLASTICITY TO THE RESCUE
If the previous paragraph has left any of you feeling a little despondent that we are just neurologically hard-wired to fail, here’s some good news! Research has disproved the long-held belief that human brains do not change after a certain age in childhood. Now it has been scientifically proven that the human brain changes throughout our lifespan. Even after the neural networks are well-established, the brain is capable of rewiring existing connections. Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of the brain to continuously change during the lifetime of an individual. The neurons (brain cells that transmit information) change in form and function in response to environmental changes. With every new experience, more neurons fire in the brain which is how our brains learn. So, new learning literally re-wires our brain. Isn’t that amazing? We don’t have to feel trapped by a brain that refuses to do our bidding. Learning, exercise, diet, relaxation, meditation, visualization…all of these can contribute to rewiring our brain and making the subconscious brain our ally.
THE NEW YOU – VERSION 2.0
If you could identify with the feeling of your “ship of life" drifting along without a sense of direction, you’re probably grappling with some of the below-mentioned issues, much like I did.
· Fear of failure
· Fear of change
· Low self-esteem
· Tendency to make excuses
All of these challenges are reversible. It takes determination, discipline, and dedication to overcome them but the most difficult part of the process is starting. Why not make 2021 the year of upgrading yourself to your Version 2.0?
If you would like some support in making your journey towards becoming the master and commander of your life easier, please connect with me through my website www.thinklifecoaching.co.nz and we can schedule a complimentary session to explore possibilities of working together if we feel we are a good fit for each other.