Now that you have things sorted out and put together, put last year behind you, scrap the old plans and get ready for a new start. New things require new strategies, new tactics and new plans. There’s an old saying – if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Einstein may have put it better when he defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results.
Recently our Mind Masters Licensee Facilitator Erin Samaniego posted some ideas that support what we all need to change and recognize in order to change the results we want. In Erin’s words…
Have you ever found yourself needing to get something important done and then realize you got distracted tweaking your logo or fiddling with the color purple on your website because it’s suddenly a priority? Or maybe you just avoid or put off doing the hard things.
There is a reason for this and it’s not really your fault!
Our brains are wired to conserve calories. What does this mean? Everything our brain processes requires calories. The more our brains have to think the more calories it uses. Our brains are constantly judging how hard it has to work. So when you’re faced with a task that the brain perceives as requiring a lot of work you may find yourself getting distracted by something easier or more fun.
The problem with this design is that there are three aspects of reality that no one can avoid, according to Dr. Phil Stutz. They are Pain, Uncertainty, and Constant Work.
So how do we deal with this design to conserve calories (aka. do the easy fun stuff and avoid the painful, uncertain stuff)?
You have to be willing to accept both assertions:
- Your brain is designed to have you look for the easy and avoid the hard.
- Life will always come with pain, uncertainty & constant work.
We have to start dealing with these realities and get good at recognizing when our brains want to check out. When you understand how the brain works, then you have more control over not getting stopped when it gets tired.
Here are a couple of tips:
- Do challenging tasks at the beginning of your day or when you have the most energy.
- Give your brain a break before starting something challenging-take a quick walk outside, get 5 minutes of sunshine, or get a drink of water.
- Instead of grinding out a task for a long period of time, divide the task into smaller, shorter time blocks.
- Move to a more enjoyable location to do the hard tasks.
- My favorite… Just do it!!!
Don’t get caught up with how much you don’t want to do the task. It’s your brain trying to convince you it doesn’t want to spend the energy. There isn’t anything physically stopping you from just doing it.
And there’s the irony! How many times have you pushed yourself to do hard, painful things and ended up on the other side thinking, “That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.” or “What was the big deal?”.
I challenge you to start to lean into those moments of resistance and remind yourself it’s just a brain response.”
The Challenge: Practice and recognize the advancements you have made.