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How to train your brain into helping you accomplish your goals

The brain is wired to favour routine. It LOVES when we do the same thing over and over again because it uses less energy. It’s conserving itself for later use. Thank you brain, so smart of you. 

However… we don’t want to stay the same. We want to grow! Learn! Evolve! Delve a little deeper. You want to accomplish your goals!

Which means in order to reach our goals, some sort of change needs to happen. As Albert Einstein said, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” 

Let’s agree: to see a new goal come to life, change needs to happen. We need to do something other than what we’re already doing in order to create a different result… a NEW reality. 

Seeing as our brain isn’t really on our side to create change, how can we train our brain to actually help us accomplish our goals?

Turns out, there are some key points to keep in mind when reaching for your next goal.

Consistency is your best friend. Make it a HABIT.

We’ve all heard it takes 21 days of consistency to create a new habit. You can’t meditate once and expect to experience a magical awakening. One healthy meal won’t really make a difference to your body. If you can’t touch your toes now, one Yoga class won’t change that. Want a strong core? One Pilates class won’t create it. Want to write a book? One writing session won’t see your 40 000 words written (well maybe, unless you got those super powers). 

You get it. Change isn’t created overnight. Even when we think we hear of overnight success stories… we dive a little deeper and realise there’s a whole backstory, a lifetime of trying EVERYTHING until the ‘success’ happened.

To reach a goal, what we really need to create is consistency, in turn forming a HABIT. This = change. 

Work toward your goal every single day. Even if you don’t feel like it. 

Choose a time in your day and stick to it. We’ve found the best way to do this is create an ‘If, When, Then’ implementation plan. 

  • If it is any day of the week
  • When I wake up
  • Then I will do my Yoga

Even if you don’t feel like it. You get up and you DO it.

If, When, Then works for any goal.

The more regular your new behaviour, the more likely and faster your brain will convert it into a habit. 

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits says

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.” 

This is why we run 21 Day Challenges inside MerryBody Online Studio. Our next 21 Day Challenge starts on 6 August, you don’t want to miss this!

It’s where we see our members creating SERIOUS CHANGE. It doesn’t happen after one session. It happens via continued consistency. 

To accomplish your goals, you NEED to create consistency.

Like Amanda… what started as one Yoga session… is now a HABIT. And in creating consistency Amanda now reaps benefits of feeling calm and having a clear mind and above all, complete acceptance of herself. 

Amanda-Merrybody

Break it down… make a list = feel good hormones.

When we receive something we want, like a hug from a loved one, a slice of delish healthy cake, even the sunny weather we’ve been wishing for, our brain releases the feel-good hormone, Dopamine. 

For example, your brain might feel that spike in Dopamine if you say to yourself, I’m going to make my inbox zero… and then you do. Crazy, right?

This means… it’s possible for us to hack the Dopamine system by setting small milestones toward our bigger goals. Every time we get one step closer, the brain gets a little hit. 

Rather than having this one big goal, it’s better to break down the exact steps to reach that goal, be as detailed as you like.

Not only does this make it more doable but it makes the entire process more enjoyable. 

Maybe you’ve felt this before when you tick off items from your to-do list? Yep! That’s Dopamine running through your body making you feel all the good feels of accomplishment and greatness. Thank you brain, AGAIN! 

The thing is, when the brain gets a hit of Dopamine, it will WANT you to repeat the connected action again. 

Let’s go back to the Yoga goal… if you’ve been wanting to touch your toes, or be able to sweep your leg through from down dog… the way to get there is through practise! 

Why not tick off your calendar every time you practise? Every time you tick it off, your brain will give you that feel good Dopamine and you’ll be more likely to do it again tomorrow! Accomplishing your goals never felt so good 😉

Like Zoe… 

MerryBody-Progress

This is why we create a printable plan for every MerryBody Challenge… our Members can then tick off every day they practise! Some even put adorable stickers on their plans (because, fun). Yay, we love this. 

Our next challenge starts on 6 August… get unlimited access to Yoga, Pilates and Meditation and the accountability and motivation you’ve been missing.

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OR, maybe you want to create healthy eating habits. Every time you have a healthy brekky, why not mark it in your calendar?! 

Perhaps you want to re-paint your home? Rather than just have that one big goal, break it down into rooms, tasks, even walls! Every time you finish a task, give yourself a big green tick! HELLOOOO Dopamine!

BELIEVE that you can. Embrace the possibility. 

In order to reach a new goal AKA create a different reality, we must first BELIEVE that we can.

But how can we know that we TRULY believe in our future? 

Dr Joe Dispenza, who specialises in rewiring the brain, says to create the belief, we simply need to take action toward the new reality. Then the brain actually believes it can happen and starts to work WITH us to create it. 

“If you’re not taking steps towards the future you are creating, then you don’t believe it’s possible. End of story. We only make choices in alignment with our future when we believe that it can actually happen.” – Dr Joe Dispenza

It’s a case of what came first, the chicken or the egg? But then also… who cares! Was it the belief that came first? Or the action? Either way, we are closer toward our goal because of our belief and our action.

If we can begin to ask ourselves what it would be like to live in the reality we want to create, we begin to switch on the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the brain’s creative centre. 

We can ask ourselves questions like:

  • What would it be like to move freely within my body? With ease and strength?
  • What would it feel like to be free of negative thoughts about my body and who I am?
  • Who do I have to be in order to create deep, meaningful relationships?
  • What would it take to have my dream job?

Once we begin to think about these questions, signals are sent across the brain and new patterns are created. Dr Joe calls it a ‘new level of mind’. When we do this, we now have a new vision for our future. With the intention and the vision now stored in our frontal lobe, this thought (this dream) becomes a new possibility… the brain sees it and believes we can do it. 

Now with the brain on our side… we are more likely to take action toward it. So what came first? The belief or action? 

They work hand in hand. The belief inspires the action. Action inspires motivation. Action cements the belief. And so on and so on. 

Find your crew. Be part of a community.

Our good friend Hal Elrod says 

“Anything another human being has achieved is just proof of what you can do.” 

For example… no one believed that a mile could be run under 4 minutes. And then… Roger Bannister did in 1954. 

Since then, over 1400 athletes have broken the 4 minutes, with the record now at 3.43.

The knowledge of another human achieving something, allowed others to believe it was possible. 

We’ve all felt this level of inspiration. When we hear a great story of achievement and we feel inspired to do something bigger with our lives.

When it’s a goal that we too want to achieve, the motivation and inspiration gets turned up a level. Not only do we want it and believe it… we now have PROOF that it’s possible. 

Let’s go back to Dr Joe for a moment. His teachings and meditations have seen people cure blindness. Have seen people who were told they wouldn’t be able to walk ever again to be jumping up and down, dancing around freely. 

“Knowledge is the foundation that allows us to dream bigger. The more knowledge we gain—the more we read or learn about people who have done what we’re setting out to do—the more inspired we are to make the possibility become a reality.” – Dr Joe Dispenza

The more people who experience and share their results… the MORE people start to experience results. Just like the 4 minute mile.

When we see others achieve… we realise that what we want for ourselves is that little bit closer. We are INSPIRED to keep going, to keep taking action.

If you want to achieve something, surround yourself with people who have DONE IT. Read books. Stories. Watch documentaries. Be inspired by other people’s stories. See the proof for yourself that it IS possible. It has been done. And therefore you can do it too. 

This is why we encourage our MerryBody Members to share their success inside our private community group (seriously the best group ever). Not only do they get a hit of Dopamine for reaching their goals but by sharing their achievement they remind every other Member of their ‘WHY’, they are proof that they too CAN do it, they create inspiration for the entire collective to keep going. 

More on Dr Joe here (we loved this interview with Lewis Howes)…

Change your space

Have you ever gone on a vacation and suddenly you have all these ideas?! The fresh environment kicked your brain into motion!

Your environment is super important when it comes to creating new habits. And remember, it’s the habits that allow us to reach the goals! 

The brain is great at connecting your environment with specific actions.

For example, notice next time you hop out of the shower, you probably dry your body in the exact same way every day, without even thinking about it!

The same might go for you when you go to a coffee shop to meet a friend. You might have already had 2 coffees but you might be unable to resist the urge to order the third coffee (even if you know it’s going to cause the shakes!). 

The BEST time to create a new habit is when we’re in a new environment because all the usual environmental patterns the brain is used to are missing!

This doesn’t mean you need to go on vacation (by all means, go on vacation if you want to!). It could be as simple as instead of setting up your Yoga mat in your bedroom, you take your practise outside, or even to the living room! 

If you simply can’t get any work done, maybe you try a different desk, go to the local library, a new coffee spot! 

Putting yourself in new environments creates space for the brain to work OFF autopilot and makes it easier for you to take action toward your goals, makes it easier for you to create your new reality! 

How to train your brain into helping you accomplish your goals…

Create consistency, break it down for the feel-good Dopamine, believe you CAN, surround yourself with the inspiring people and mix it up when it comes to your environment.

We can train our brains to be on our side, to create the reality we dream for ourselves.

No matter what your goal is, no matter what your dream is… it IS possible.

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

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Feature image by Photo by Kevin O’Connor on Unsplash