This Mental Shift Helps You Stay Consistent With Your Plans

You’re ready for the change; you just haven’t told your brain yet

Photo by Zheka Boychenko on Unsplash

What Is Wrong With Chris?

I’m sure he really, really wants to lose weight and stay healthy. He clearly knows what he needs to do. But there he is, failing at it with flying colors.

Attaching the right identity to our words pushes us to align our actions with it more efficiently. Ultimately, it breaks the resistance our brains are wired to.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words, but They’re Still Brain-Controlled

Long before James Clear, Robert Cialdini demonstrated, in Influence — The Psychology of Persuasion —, that people will tune their behaviors to the identity they think others will attribute them.

(Un)Fortunately, Our Smart Brains Are That Dumb When It Comes To Change

This is no magic and no gimmick. It’s your brain that puts less resistance to change once you keep telling yourself that you’re the kind of person who does the things you need to do — like a nonsmoker in Clear’s example, or a healthy eater, in my friend’s example.

Your brain thinks change is not comfortable. It’s because change requires using extra energy and it needs to preserve that energy for what it “thinks” would matter more. Until you convince your brain that it has to support you in making the change, it won’t budge.

You must have heard this before: force yourself to smile, and you’ll start feeling better. It’s scientifically proven that your brain starts releasing feel-good hormones when your lips are smiling, even if you’re holding a pen between your teeth.

What Are You Supposed To Make of All This Information?

Take some time and give your plans a really good thought. You need to know yourself. Be realistic about who you are, what you want to achieve, what are the mistakes you’ve been making so far, and what pushes you off track.

  • The situations that typically make you lose track of the right path;
  • The ways you could avoid situations that deter your progress;
  • The identity you want to associate yourself with.

To Wrap It Up

With any new habit you want to instill, you need to:

Letting your brain know about the change doesn’t imply sitting in front of the mirror all day long and telling yourself the phrases that will miraculously hypnotize you into embracing the new habit. It’s much simpler than that.

You don’t need to tell yourself a thousand times a day that you’re a conscious eater. When someone offers you a bag of chips, remember to say to them — no, thank you, I only eat healthy snacks.

  1. You’ll realize everyone in the room just heard you saying you only eat healthily. So now, you won’t have the courage to reach out for that bag even if you feel the urge. It will make you look ridiculous, and who wants that?

Mother, writer, thinker. Striving to be the change I want to see in the world.

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