So from time to time we want to change a habit or adopt a new one. The thing is the process of change can be really hard, especially if you have to make a big change.

When we are trying to make a change there is so much to get in the way of us succeeding.

First of all we have an inbuilt system within our brain to regulate change and stop us from doing it. The homeostatic part of our brain literally stops us from making changes.

If you are not familiar with homeostasis it is a self regulating system within the brain that tries to maintain a stable environment and to be wary of change.

Why would your brain have such an inbuilt system? Well it is for a very important reason. It is designed to keep you alive. How does that work? Well your brain “knows” that if you do anything out of the ordinary it increases the “Risks” you are taking. The more risks you take the higher chances of you dying.

Or at least that’s the way your brain thinks.

There is a really big problem with that. Let’s say that we know exercising is a good idea as it will improve our overall health. The thing is all your homeostatic brain sees that as not a good idea it says to itself RISK so it will do everything in its power to stop you from making that change. It will literally throw thoughts into your mind about why it is not a good idea and why you should avoid making the change.

It kind of sucks doesn’t it.

This doesn’t just happen for physical things, let’s say we want to start a business, get a new job, end a bad relationship, start eating healthy food? All these are subject to the same scrutiny.

So every time you are looking to make a change you have to fight that part of your brain.

So what can you do about this well most people try and use will power to get past this. The thing is what most people don’t know is that will power is in limited supply within us all. And to be honest if you are a regular person you really don’t get that much of it.

Certainly not enough in most people to make big changes. That is why virtually all New Years resolutions go out of the window within a couple of days from the start of the year.

Well if you have not got enough will power to get you through it what have we got left. Well we have a few things. One is the BIG DECISION.

If you make a decision in your mind, one that is absolute, and without question, somehow your mind knows it. This can’t be a wishy washy decision or a hope or an i’d like to decision this is an absolute deciding. Somehow this cuts through the homeostatic gatekeeper and gets taken on board.

Most of the time these come from rock bottom. They come in the form of a sort of Never Again moment.

They can come from a good place but that involves building so much positive emotion around the idea that it literally gouges a new neural pathway in your brain. Most of us don’t have the inclination for such practice.

So unless you are in the depths of despair the big decision may be out of your reach.

So what else is left? Well we have auto suggestion, affirmation and incantation. Which deal with repetition of chosen words or phrases that slowly change your thinking over time. The latter can be especially effective as it adds the emotional component to it, which your brain takes special attention to, as it (your brain) operates in an emotional capacity. Also we tend to become what we think about most of the time. So hey don’t dismiss this approach it can work for you.

That said most of us don’t have the discipline to start such a committed routine.

So what have we got left. Well I will tell you….. Tiny changes and trickery.

So like i say when you try and make a big change your brain says to itself “forget that” or words to that effect, and does what it can to throw a spanner in the works.

Aha so if we have the intention to make big changes but don’t want to scare our brain what can we do. Well we can go all psychological stealth ninja on our brain that’s what.

So how do we do that. Well we take the big change and we break it down to it’s smallest component.

Let’s say that you decided to get healthy and you thought that the best way to do that was to join a gym and commit to going 4 times a week first thing in the morning. Your brain panics, throws up a million ideas why that is not a good idea, and that is not the person you, are after all we’ve never even done any exercise in years. The plan is scuppered before it begins.

So what can we do? Well we just do something small to start. Let’s say that you there is something that you do consistently each day. It could be anything taking a shower, brushing your teeth or putting the kettle on for your morning coffee. We will use the latter as an example.

Here is what you do. You put the kettle on and as it is starting to boil you drop to the floor and do just one push up. No more, just the one! You get up and give yourself a fist pump. (The fist pump is important, new habits love positive rewards/reinforcement) Actually it does not have to be a fist pump it can be any reward (maybe chocolate) but you must reward yourself in some way.

That’s it your done! Do this for a couple of days and then if you like, start adding one more push up each day. If you like after a while do this every time you put on the kettle. Then maybe add one extra exercise a squat maybe or a jumping jack (star jump). Do this slowly.

Then before you know it your mind starts to get the message that you are a person who exercises. Then maybe you decide to go to the gym once a week not 4 times just once (your brain thinks, “ok, I do some exercise the gym is not that big a stretch!”) Do that for a couple of weeks. Your mind then thinks to itself and says to it’s self “I really am a person who goes to the gym.” Add one more session each week over a period of time. Your brain will readily accept this.

This is how you sneak up on your brain to make lasting change.

This works for virtually any area of your life. Just think of the change you want to make break it down to its smallest component. Attach that to an existing habit. Reward yourself. Add small increments. Simples!

I also like to use this sentence as I’m making changes, it is amusing to me and it makes the thought of change easier in my mind. Give it a try here it is.

“I’m ready for an upgrade!”

For some reason we associate upgrades as a reward and not a change, so your mind let’s it slip through.

So that’s how you can easily make a big change without the hardship and failure. I hope you try this.

Snowy