Newsletter February 2015 – Brain and muscle – fit and flexible!

brain train

brain train

In January I promised to share some goal success “science” and reveal “why” we often “miss the mark” when it comes to achieving (some) of the goals we set ourselves. But, hold on to that, I first want to share exciting news with you!

As you all know we are living in very interesting albeit challenging times! Knowledge is migrating, companies are merging, people and services are being off shored, near shored, out- or in-sourced, and we are constantly being faced with massive cost reductions! Whether we like it or not, change impacts all of us, directly and indirectly. Success and “survival” depends a whole lot on how “fit” and “flexible” we are.

I firmly believe that personal development and learning (“job fitness”) should be affordable and accessible to everyone who sincerely wants to get ahead and in order to support you in achieving your goals, I have decided to remove “entry” or “cost barriers”. I am offering you a payment system known as Pay What You Want or PWYW.
This is for you, not companies! You decide what you can pay, commit to the price in writing, and get going with your personal and professional fitness program!

Time and travel constraints are also posing challenges for clients to get to the brain gym and I have a wonderful solution for this too! Skype. No excuses!


Back to the “brain science”…

So. You have a new goal. Let’s say you “decide”, by using a few imperative forms, that you must/should/have to get fit so you take yourself to the fitness center all fired up with the flames of enthusiasm and a vision of sexy bi- or triceps – and, you want to start off  by lifting a 500 pound barbell. NO WAY! It’s not going to work! Here’s why…

Just like going to the gym, we need less “won’t power” and loads of “will power” for a new goal, and the brain cells that operate “will power” are located in the prefrontal cortex, right behind your forehead. The prefrontal cortex is good at keeping you focussed , your logic and reason, short term memory and solving abstract tasks.

So when you say to yourself you’re going to get those biceps, or quit smoking (from sixty to zero),  or lose lots of weight, or learn a language in 20 units, I say STOP! Just the thought of it gives me a prefrontal headache! You’re going to go into cognitive overload and your “will power” is going to collapse and return to “won’t power”!

Here’s a thought. Did you know that almost all the techniques that truly work for successful change do NOT rely on willpower?

Now, try this. Imagine getting up at “sparrow’s fart” every day to start training for whatever it is that you are a champion at. Imagine yourself standing on the #1 box with applause and cheer thundering through your universe.  How did you get to that #1 position? You trained.

Back to the mind gym. Change the routine.

It’s quite simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple.

Did you know that more than 40 percent of the actions we perform each day aren’t actual decisions, but habits?

Habits (good and bad) get “formed” because they are linked to specific behaviour known as “triggers” or “cues”. Your brain cannot focus on new goals which aren’t bound to behaviour. Goals need to be “instinctual” to succeed. Success is bound to good habits. Make your new goal a habit. Out with the old and in with the new! YEAH!

So how do you break old (bad) habits?

  • Replace them. A habit is made up of 1) “the cue” (what makes you crave whatever it is you crave), 2) the routine (the eating or drinking or smoking) and 3) the reward (the “good” feeling afterwards). The secret is to keep the same cue and reward, but to replace the routine.
  • Change your environment –If there are no cookies in the house, you’re not going to be eating cookies at 3am? Manipulate your environment so that what you should be doing is easy and what you shouldn’t be doing is difficult.

Charles Duhigg, author of the book “The Power of Habit” has a a great short video on how triggers and replacing habits works!

Examples on how to get clear and fit on the habit!

  • Goal: Quit smoking vs. Habit: Stop smoking that 1 cigarette you have as soon as you get in the car.
  • Goal: Eat healthy food vs. Habit: Start replacing that 1 muffin with a mango!

By breaking each goal down to the tiniest habit your chances of success will be much higher! Isn’t that awesome?

Now once more, brain train fitness, step by step:

  1. Pick one new habit – the one goal that’s most important to you.
  2. Take baby steps – make it a tiny habit.
  3. Commit to it. Do it. Marry it to action.
  4. Focus on the carrot – reward and celebrate tiny successes.

I am so convinced good new shiny things are going to happen this year – we just have to reach out and get them!  If you can do German, here’s a great song to put a “spring” in your step!

I’m off to the bush again to hand over your donations, see my rhino, and talk with nature so you know that your next news is going to be more bush stories! See you on Skype or in the seminar room, soon! All the best, Hester



Feeling bogged down!

Coaching and skills tip for the week: Feeling Stuck !/? 

What exactly is stuck or bogged down? Well it’s when you feel like you are not making progress, not moving forward. You’re experiencing a deflated “do” and “low on confidence” moment (or period)!

Here’s what you can do in 5 steps! Simple enough but not necessarily easy AND,  it is necessary that you follow the instructions otherwise this exercise just isn’t going to work for you!

First. Fast forward to 6mins 25sec on the video to get a real idea of what “stuck” is! Watch for about 2 mins and pause.

Now, do this:

1) make a list of your 5 most outstanding accomplishments to date and put a date to them!
2) answer these questions: what did you do? what did you have? who helped you? what was your motivation and how did you overcome procrastination then?

3) Now go to 5mins 15secs on the video – fast forward now… and get rid of all the excess baggage in the form of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that you are thinking at the moment

4) CELEBRATE the fact that you have been very successful in accomplishing great things before
5) and MOVE! get going! go after whatever it is you want!

Good luck – and if you’re still feeling stuck come get me!