Is your brain keeping you from achieving your biggest goal?
Yep. According to the latest research in neuroscience, your brain's to blame for not being able to reach your goals.
And it's not because you're not smart enough. You're smart enough! Here's the deal: There's a big the difference setting goals and achieving goals. When we decide to set a goal, we may be at our computer typing, we may be writing it on a piece of paper . . . and that's fine.
But how do we actually set goals so that we can accomplish them? First, we rely on our imagination.
Keep reading to find out what else you need to do to achieve your goals faster and easier . . .
There's a creative center of the brain that we all use to visualize what we want to do and what we want to be. We daydream so we can drift away to visualize our ideal lifestyle, right?
Here's what I would love my life to be like. Here are the goals that I want to achieve. Here's what I want my health to be . . . This is what my healthy relationship looks like. Here's how much money I want to make in this lifetime . . .
And so on and so forth.
To set goals we must use our imagination along with another part of the brain; the analytical part of the brain that's responsible for deductive reasoning. When imagination and reasoning work together, we immediately get a spark of creativity and excitement.
When we get excited, the parts of the brain called the nucleus accumbens and insula fire off some of those feel good neurochemicals.
And when the neurotransmitter dopamine is released during this sudden spark, we feel excited. We feel good. We may even get a little jolt of adrenaline because we're excited. This gets you fired up to work toward for your goals and dreams.
You know what I'm talking about, right? You know this feeling, don't you?
But what I mentioned above is only using one aspect of the brain's capability to achieve greatness. Achieving goals is a bit more complex than just using creative visualization and getting fired up about goal achievement.
Once you're clear about what you want and excited about the idea, you have add at least three action steps of how you're going to achieve the goal, ask why you must achieve the goal, and put it into a calendar that shows you when you're going to do it.
I'm going to do __________ next next Monday at 9 a.m. I’m going to do __________ next Wednesday at 9 a.m., and I'm going to do __________ next Friday at 9 a.m. for the next six months so that my goal is accomplished by March 2019.
By adding this crucial step to your goal setting process, you use more of your brain—allowing your imagination and creativity to develop the right plan of action.
So now are you starting to recognize the big difference between setting goals and achieving goals? When you set goals, that's part one. When you create a plan, that's part two. When you add your reason for why you want to achieve it, you're adding the emotional aspect to achieving your goals. That's three.
Part four is taking action! Parts 1-3 set you up to take action and help you actually reinforce a new habit loop and pattern that becomes part of something known as the default mode network.
But wait! There's more . . .
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch the above video from a coaching session John Assaraf recently did on how to achieve goals faster and easier. And download the first section of his new Innercise book for free.)
Ever wondered why it's so hard to achieve goals?
These two priorities, that start with the letter C, are the main reason why people don't achieve their goals.
1. Comfort. Feeling safe keeps you in your comfort zone to do what's comfortable to achieve even if you're miserable. Even if you don't like the results, at least it's comfortable and safe from your brain's perspective. There's no risk or fear involved when things are played safe.
2. Change. Your brain doesn't like to change. It doesn't want to change. Change consumes too much energy. Changing thought patterns, changing emotional awareness and emotions, patterns, habits, and behaviors requires great effort. And to a brain that's focused on conserving energy for safety and primal purposes, change is risky business.
So yes, we all have competing priorities in the brain. And what's more, we, as human beings, will do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure.
So how does this relate to goal setting vs. goal achieving?
When we set a goal, we're setting a goal because we think there's going to be emotional, financial, physical, spiritualpleasure, right? However, a brain that's focused on avoidance of pain soon puts the brakes on our excitement.
This is why the majority of people put the brakes on accomplishing their goals and return to what they're used to doing. We resort to feel safe and stuck in the comfort zone. It makes sense because "being comfortable" reduces the neurochemistry that produces all the tension, stress, anxiety, fear, and negative self-talk.
To be aware of this fact is crucial. When you're aware of the way your brain functions, you can observe the chatter and you can learn to start making decisions based on this awareness. Ready to make the decision to achieve your goals and dreams?
To get started, watch the video above from a coaching session I did recently via Facebook. And then download, the free PDF of the first part of my new Innercise book where you'll gather some killer information on how to unlock your brain's full potential.
We'd love to hear from you!
Have you been Innercising lately? We'd love to know what works best for you when it comes to achieving the goals you set. Please leave us a comment in the section below.
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About The Author
John Assaraf is one of the leading mindset and behavioral experts in the world, with a unique ability to help people release mental and emotional blocks that keep them from achieving their life’s biggest goals and dreams.
He's written 2 New York Times Bestselling books, appeared on Larry King, and was featured in 8 movies, including "Quest For Success" with Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama.
Now, he is the CEO of NeuroGym, a company dedicated to using the most advanced neuroscience-based training to help individuals and maximize their fullest potential.