What keeps you from your goals and resolutions?
Why do you keep setting the same goals again and again?
It is your old thinking that got your old results, and continuing your old thinking makes it impossible to change. For example: Thinking differently about exercise is required to change your exercise habits… Thinking differently about yourself and food is required to lose weight.
The real secret is that you have to think differently FIRST, or else you won’t be able to do things differently.
The problem is that it’s not easy to change your thinking! If it were easy, you would have already done it – and achieved all those old resolutions/goals, and they would have already become new habits.
Why It’s So Hard to Change Your Thinking – And How to Do It
It has to do with how your brain makes new thoughts, so let’s take a look at the neuroscience behind this…
You have millions of neurons in your brain. To form a single thought, a group of neurons connect to each other to create a neural pathway – and that neural pathway is the thought. As you think a different thought, those neurons scurry away and connect up with other neurons to make new thoughts.
When you think the same thoughts (or same type of thoughts) over and over, the neurons in your brain get very smart. They figure “why should we scurry away and connect with other neurons to make different thoughts. We’ll just stay here because we know you’re going to think this thought again.”
Imagine thoughts like: I can’t do it, what if I fail, this is hard, I’m too busy to do that, I just like food too much, I can do that tomorrow, what’s the point, etc.
The more you think the same old thoughts, the more cemented that neural pathway becomes. It becomes a paved freeway like I 94! At that point, it becomes what is called “the automatic pathway”. Your brain quickly and automatically repeats that old way of thinking because you have pre-paved the way with your past thinking.
Your Thinking Can Change!
The amazing thing about your brain is that no matter how long old automatic pathways have been there, your brain has neuroplasticity: the ability to change and create new ways of thinking.
Your challenge: learning how to interrupt the old automatic pathway and create new alternative pathways/thoughts.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Identify the old, automatic pathways. The big challenge here is that they are so automatic that they have often become subconscious (you’re not even aware of them).
2. Create new, alternative pathways. These are new thoughts and new ways of thinking that feel better, let you break old patterns, and create new patterns. The challenge here is that when the automatic pathway is still running the show, it is very difficult to be able to just think different thoughts. It’s definitely not as easy as “just think positive.”
3. Catch yourself going down the old automatic pathway and switch to the new one. There are specific techniques used to help the brain be able to shift to a different pathway.
CBT helps you:
- Think new thoughts that feel better
- Break old patterns you want to get rid of
- See things differently
- Meet your goals
- Make new habits
CBT is really hot right now because scientific studies prove CBT is the most effective treatment for so many things, including anxiety, depression, weight loss, chronic pain, and making just about any kind of change. And it gives you long-term results because of how it works to literally rewire the way your brain thinks.
Click HERE for more on CBT for anxiety!
CBT is one of the main techniques I use with all my clients – for reaching any goal or making any type of long-term change they want to make in their lives.
The One and Only Resolution You Ever Really Need? Change Your Thinking!