1) Don’t wait for it to “feel right.”
Habit behaviours are traced to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia – a portion of the brain associated with emotions, patterns, and memories.
Decisions, on the other hand, are made in the prefrontal cortex(section of the brain right behind your forehead), a completely different area.
Embrace the wrong and acknowledge that it will take a while for your new regime to feel right!
2) Set Clear Goals (SMART Goals)
The more specific the goal, the better able people are to reach it- a highly abstract goal may not be actionable!
SMART is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives – has suffered from acronym drift, but the most common definition is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.
You see, The human brain can’t tell the difference between what we want and what we have, so setting a SMART goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it.
By setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are.
With every achievement along the path to meeting our goal, our body releases dopamine into our brains, creating a sense of pleasure, which keeps us focused and motivated – we physically feel good when we’re taking steps towards our goals!
Conversely, if you fail to meet your goals, your brain will have the opposite effect – failure to meet a goal means the dopamine supply gets cut off.
3) The Why & How Mindsets
“Why” questions encourage long-term thinking or desirability of pursuing an action; in contrast, “How” questions bring the mind down to the present and consider a goal’s attainability or feasibility.