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8 Ways to Retrain Your Brain

Today we’re talking about eight ways to retrain your brain. A lot of people believe that whatever they’ve been given in life, that’s what they got.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Your talents are not fixed.  Yes, there are some of us who are naturally blessed in certain categories- Michael Jordan would be a perfect example.  He’s a hard worker, but he’s also clearly a god.  But for the most part, the people with talent are not the exceptional people.  The people with grit are the exceptional people.  Here’s why.  People who are talented are used to things coming easily to them.  They may be the best baseball player in their town, but they’re not the best baseball player ever.  If you don’t have the work ethic attached to your talent, you really don’t have much at all.  Conversely, if you’re the kind of person who’s had to work hard for everything, you have something that the talented people don’t have.  Grit.

All of that is to say that you can retrain your brain.  If you feel like you can’t get your act together, it doesn’t mean you’ll always be that way unless you believe strongly for some reason that you’re benefitting from being that way.  You know, what I mean, #hotmessexpress.  If that’s what you believe, you will stay the same. But know that it is optional.

Let’s dig in to the eight ways you can retrain your brain!

#1 Affirmations

pinterestAffirmations are a great way to create new thought patterns in your brain.  Some of my favorite affirmations are:

I’m the kind of woman who gets shit done.

I have healthy glowing skin and hair.

Everything is always coming together.

I write those in my journal every morning.  When things feel hard, I like to remind myself “everything is always coming together”.

When you take the time to create new positive thoughts, they will crowd out those negative ones.  But you have to do the work and you have to be consistent.

#2 Mantras

A mantra is similar to an affirmation, but a mantras originated in Buddhism.  A mantra is usually something that you say.  It’s a belief about yourself, sort of like your tagline.  You can come up with a mantra about the way that life works for you or how you want to see things.  You can repeat it over and over again so you’re calling in ways that you’re seeing that come to fruition.

My affirmation “everything is always coming together” is something I say out loud or in my head during the day as my mantra. Because when things do feel a little bit hard, I know all of this is on purpose.  And it’s all leading me in the right direction.

#3 Visual Reminders

You can actually put your affirmations or mantra on a post-it note where you will see it.  Maybe in your car or on your bathroom mirror.

Another visual reminder might be a vision board.  In the past, I’ve talked shit about vision boards.  But that’s only because every other experience I’d had with a vision board was going to somebody’s house and just randomly cutting shit out of a magazine and slapping it on this board and pretending it’s something you wanted.  So, I think I unfairly gave vision boards a bad rap because a lot of people are visual and like to have that reminder in front of them.  My recommendation is don’t take it lightly.  Don’t start cutting stuff out of magazines unless that is what you really want.  Figure out exactly what you want and why you want it and then find the images to match that.  Not the other way around.

#4 Coupling

I have an example of this from this morning.  I keep forgetting to take my allergy pill, so I asked my husband to give one of his to me and I put it on my nightstand. Because I know when I wake up, I’ll grab my Apple Watch and my phone and see my allergy pill.  Coupling is the act of taking something you’re already going to do and then attaching the new habit to that.

Let’s say you want to take a multivitamin if your doctor recommends one and you’re a coffee drinker.  Put your vitamins next to the coffee maker.   Our minds do like visual reminders so this can help you create the new habit.

#5 Gratitude

I like to act so gangster, it’s the way I was raised. I don’t like the mom vibe stuff. It’s just not my jam.  So, the idea of gratitude journaling felt a little too fuzzy bunny for me.  However, I have to say, gratitude is a great way to get yourself out of a funk.  Our mind is always looking to prove the stuff we tell it. 

If you want to be happier and you want to see ways you are having success and have it good, start a gratitude practice. 

Perhaps when you journal in the morning, jot down three things you are grateful for. 

The other day I getting ready to go out with my best-friend for her birthday.  I put on a new pair of jeans and a tank top and a pair of red pumps.  I looked into the mirror and said to myself, “life is pretty freaking good.  I’m 41 and I can wear jeans from the same store where my kids shop. I have really great skin. I love what I do for a living. I have a beautiful, healthy, happy family.   My life is so great.”  Now I could have all of those same things, but have a shitty attitude because other things feel more pressing than the stuff I’m grateful for.

The best way to do this is to not make gratitude journaling optional.  Choose three things every morning that you’re grateful for.  Don’t write stuff just because you feel like you should.  That’s the worst.  Like, “I’m so happy for my family.”  Not that you aren’t happy for your family, but if in the moment you’re happy because you bought this cute new cheetah print rubber band for your hair and you’re excited about it then write that down.  Don’t judge what you’re grateful for, that’s not the point.

#6 Alarms

This is one of my favorites.  I ask my kids this all the time.  Did you set an alarm?  So, there are always alarms going off in my house.  For example, I’m sick and tired of telling my son to feed the dogs.  I shouldn’t have to keep repeating myself and I want to make sure he’s getting set up for success.  He’s really busy trying to figure out high school on his computer and he’s taking Drivers Ed.  He’s got a lot going on.  I like to have that alarm go off to remind him.

Set alarms on your phone. Allow yourself to dig into whatever you’re doing.  If I was always worried about remembering my next appointment, I would never be able to write great podcasts or blog posts for you.  I don’t worry about remembering my appointments because I have alarms on my phone and I have an Apple Watch and every time it vibrates I look at it and know I have an appointment coming up.  Don’t waste your beautiful brain energy on remembering all of these things.  It’s completely unnecessary.

#7 Habit Loop

You’ve heard of Pavlov’s dog.  Pavlov figured out that you could take a piece of meat and tell the dog to sit and when the dog sat, you’d give him the meat.  Eventually it would get to the point where the dog would see the meat and it would sit in anticipation of getting the meat.  You have to give yourself the piece of meat! 

Whatever habit you want to form, don’t forget to give yourself some sort of reward afterwards. 

I don’t recommend that it be food-related if you’re trying to lose weight.  But maybe give yourself ten minutes to scroll on social media or do a little window shopping online or pick up your favorite gossip magazine.  Figure out a way to reward yourself with little micro benefits.  Reward yourself as soon as you finish doing the thing you want to become a habit.

#8 Spend Time with People Who Do These Things

There’s no better way to acclimate to the next-level version of yourself than spending time with people who are already there.  This is why you can go to France, not speak a lick of French and then pick it up.  Because you are submersed in it.  The best way for you to retrain your brain is to spend time with people who are already living that way.  You will conform because you want to be like everyone else.  We all do. 

Who are you spending your time with?  Are they who you want to be like? Think about it.

Which of these 8  things are you going to try?  Let me know in the comments!

 business checklistI’m creating a bunch of resources for those of you who think you may want to start your own business.  You may feel compelled and pulled to contribute and help other women.  If that is you, I have a special resource for you – The Business Checklist! 

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