As the end of the year approaches, it is a great time to review what has happened to us throughout this period and how we have changed or evolved. Even when we are oblivious to it, our brains continuously change in response to every situation we encounter in our lives, so it is likely we will be different to how we were at the beginning of the year.
It is quite amazing that many people still believe they never change. In my view, we all change because our brains do, all the time. Sometimes we are just unaware.
The concept of awareness has always fascinated me and now I know that by paying attention to the changes in my life I can become even more self-aware. When this happens, we are in a better position to run our brains rather than our brains running us.
We can make better choices and enhance our personal power. When we are aware, we can also become more conscious and improve the quality of the decisions we make.
At the beginning of 2014, I set some goals for myself and decided to observe my daily actions towards these goals. They were a mix of physical, personal and work challenges. My overall aim was to continue rediscovering how I am and how I behave when change occurs.
I realised very quickly that 365 days is a long time to keep track. Life gets in the way and I simply got bored of quantifying. However, because this ‘purpose or aim’ was very clear in my mind, I was able to keep reminding myself of this commitment more often than not.
And I must confess that my brain enjoyed having some overarching purpose for the year, one that I can act upon, rather than wasting time trying to control what’s uncontrollable.
Strategy Number 1
Having an aspirational goal that is really important to us significantly helps in the achievement of the smaller goals.
My question to you is:
What do you want to achieve that matters to you so much that you wont give up?
The outcome of this experiment has not seemed to have altered who I am and how I act most of the time but it has certainly made me realise that focusing on one thing at a time makes improving something so much easier.
For example, changing our diet has a higher rate of success if we talk about the benefits with someone, when we read relevant information, when we go to the supermarket with excitement to buy the right food and when we put these new elements on the kitchen bench, in front of our eyes, so we do not forget to use them.
I was not looking to change my diet drastically, however, I have managed to identify and eliminate foods that no longer serve me, such as gluten and dairy. I have also learned easy techniques to keep my gut clean and healthy by delving deeper into this field of study.
Strategy Number 2
Focusing on one thing at a time, until it sticks, is definitely the way to go. New habits are new neural connections in our brains. The more we reinforce them by repeating the new actions, the faster the habits are created.
My question to you is:
What is the most important new habit you want to develop and how can you make it stick?
Strategy Number 3
There were other interesting conclusions that emerged from this project but I would say that the third strategy that I deem as most important was to understand how to achieve coherence inside my brain.
Getting hooked by our emotions, ego, stress and self-centerdness is easy but it has negative consequences when it comes to our health, relationships and the quality of our work.
Not so long ago, I was asked how I keep myself so inspired. I replied by saying that I let my creativity flood my brain as much as possible. When experiencing creativity, we allow our brains to access our alpha brain waves. These alpha waves soothe and calm the brain.
When we are more serene, we are then able to reflect, decide how we want to interact with the world and imagine the future. Knowing this has made me more determined than ever in my daily practise of regulating my brain’s rhythms.
Every night, I go to bed and use a neurofeedback device while meditating. This has alerted my brain to start understanding when I access my alpha state or when I am all over the place with my thoughts and need to self correct.
When we are busy, stressed or overwhelmed, the brain has to work much harder in accepting and implementing a new change, whatever that may be. By learning to quiet and synchronise our brain waves, we are better positioned to respond to life changes and adjust our behaviours accordingly.
My question to you is:
How can you balance your brain to be more adaptable to change?
Looking back, I can confidently say that I did not achieve everything I set myself to do, but that’ ok.
I have 2015 to start again and build on what I have already learned. Am I a more aware person? I think I am.
Some of my goals even changed throughout the year and several things happened which I had never set my mind to achieve. Life is like that, surprising and mysterious.
Am I excited to keep going? Absolutely!!!