Our brains are two percent of our body weight but use 50% of our daily carb requirement.
The brain wants to conserve as much cognitive energy to solve problems. This goes back to cavemen days, so it tries to function on default as much as possible. This is where habits come in.
Our behaviors are associated with neural pathways. Each time we perform a habit or behavior, this deep groove or neural pathway in our brain gets stronger. Think about it like a well-traveled trail. The messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over and over begin to transmit faster and faster and eventually become automatic. So in order to create new habits and break old ones, you need to create new neural pathways. It usually takes three to six months for a new behavior to become a habit. Since discipline is a limited resource, we can’t rely on it, instead, it’s best to adopt an iterative or growth mindset. To do this, you have to set realistic expectations so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
Studies show that failure lights up a part in your brain that kills motivation even subconsciously. If you do fall short, ask yourself where and why, what’s blocking you. It also helps to build neuroplasticity which builds new neural connections. You can do this through meditation, mindfulness, or exercise.
Stay tuned for part two for proven ways to change your behavior.