Let’s touch the psychological aspect of making change – specifically making and keeping a New Year’s Resolution. We want and need things to change in our lives for better health. However, the words ‘want’ and ‘need’ talk only to our conscious brain. Our conscious brain does not control what actually happens in our lives.
Our subconscious brain is the real controller of our lives. It operates 24/7. It never shuts down. It assesses everything that happens and files it away for future reference. Things that have happened to us that have emotion attached to them are filed front and center – the easiest to retrieve. As we do a thing over and over again, those ‘memories’ are filed on top of each other.
When it comes to making a decision our subconscious brain relies on what we have done before. The prime directive of our subconscious brain is to allow no harm to come to us. This harm can be physical, mental, emotion, etc. Touch a hot stove and that memory is locked in forever. We don’t touch hot stoves very often – at least not over and over again.
When we fail at something, say a diet, our subconscious mind sees that failure and logs it into our brains accordingly. As we fail at it several times, our subconscious mind sees a pattern and begins to work at cross purpose to what you think you need. Your conscious mind sees a need to lose weight. However, your subconscious mind see failure and it wants to protect you – its prime directive is in conflict with your current goal. Who wins? Your subconscious mind every time.
Fortunately, your subconscious mind has limits. It cannot tell real from imagined. We can imagine all we want. We can imagine dieting that worked successfully many, many times. We can attach emotion to those events so that they are filed front in center for easy retrieval. When you have equal positive and negative results from the same event, your subconscious mind cannot direct your actions. It will not fight your current goal to lose weight because it doesn’t have a history of failure. It has a history of real failure and imagined success – a net zero for decision making.
The more successes you have filed on top of each other the easier it is to make further successes in your life. I mentioned at the top of this blog that the words ‘want’ and ‘need’ only talk to your conscious mind. You need to change your vocabulary when talking to your subconscious mind. Think ‘expect’ and ‘intend’ when you really want something to occur. This tells your subconscious mind that it is important and needs to be done.
Use this technique in making those small changes in your life in December to be effective in 2017.