A Leopard Can Change Its Spots
Habits are often seen as fixed, ingrained, unchangeable realities; in actual fact, they are merely a reflection of one’s current thought processes and priorities.
Changing a habit starts with a thought – and anyone can do it with the right level of commitment, motivation, and know-how.
What goes on in the brain when you form a new habit?
Well, new behaviors create new neural pathways in the brain. Or at least they adapt and reorganize existing pathways. With the repetition of a behavior, these new pathways strengthen.
There’s a saying that “neurons that fire together, wire together”.
This reflects the fact that changing behaviors ‘rewire’ the brain until these new behaviors become natural. And the beauty of it is that you are never too old to be able to do this. New habits can be formed at any age.
When you first walk through an overgrown field, the way may be rough and full of bumps and potholes. But the more you walk the path, the smoother it becomes.
The brain works a little like this too – the more you perform an action the less resistance is created to it and the brain goes into unthinking mode; it starts to feel more natural and ‘habitual’, requiring less effort to complete the action.
To go back to the example of driving a car, you can drive, park, and overtake other cars without even thinking about it. It’s a skill that you’ve learnt and that has become a natural part of your life – like a habit.
But how difficult did driving seem when you started? Once you had the thought to take lessons, the brain took over and turned it into a learned habit.
You usually need some willpower to keep going, of course. But if it requires too much willpower, you’ll probably grow weary of the effort, give up, and revert to old habits. No good at all.
The trick is to break it down into bite-size pieces that don’t exhaust you or your willpower before you start forming those strong, new neural pathways in the brain!
It might take a little longer than the 21 days you’ve been promised in other blog articles but by following the above steps, you’ll get there in the end.
And if you need a little help envisioning exactly where you want your new habits to take you, why not try a manifestation journal? Check out our article on it, and download our free template below to get started.
What’s your best tip for creating a long-lasting habit? We’d love to hear it! Comment below to encourage others, or share it with the #GreensTeam Facebook community!