3 Neurological Tricks To Get The Exact Life You Want

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Woman, brain and neurons listening to music on a pink background

With everything going on in our lives, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and struggle to achieve our goals. When these goals are critical to building the life we want, the struggle to achieve can deeply affect our self-esteem. 

Your brain plays a crucial role in supporting or hindering your progress, whether completing a project, starting a new business, or adopting healthy habits. Luckily, with insights from neuroscience, you can understand more about how your brain works and leverage its power to guarantee it supports your goals.

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Here are three proven ways to get your brain ready to build the life you want 

1. Repeat new habits to harness the power of synaptic plasticity

Your brain is not a static organ. It's highly adaptable and flexible. This inherent quality of the brain is known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to reorganize itself, form new neural connections, and change its structure and function in response to experiences and learning.

The brain is capable of significant changes throughout life. It can form new neural connections, strengthen existing ones, and rewire itself if necessary. This means you have the power to shape your brain and mold it to support your goals.

One of the primary factors in harnessing neuroplasticity is repetition. The more you repeat a behavior or engage in a specific mental activity, the stronger the neural connections associated with that behavior or activity become. This process is known as synaptic plasticity.

You can reinforce the neural pathways associated with those actions by consistently practicing and repeating the behaviors and thought patterns aligned with your goals. Over time, the pathways become more efficient and automatic to make it easier to engage in goal-directed behavior.

Engaging in deliberate and focused practices makes the most of neuroplasticity. This involves breaking down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks and consistently practicing them. So, you can gradually strengthen the neural connections associated with those tasks and build momentum toward your ultimate objectives.

How do you harness neuroplasticity to achieve your goals?

In the Tiny Habits Method, BJ Fogg shows how achieving a goal or developing a new habit revolves around three key elements: a trigger, motivation, and the ability to prompt a desired behavior. A new behavior must immediately follow an established one, effectively using the existing habit as a trigger.

For instance, you might say, "After I brush my teeth [existing habit], I will go for a brisk 15-minute walk [introduce a new tiny habit]." This process involves linking the small habits to establish a routine that supports your goals. Making these repetitive behaviors enjoyable will help you stick to the routine, and tracking your progress can make your new routines more visible. Structuring your day around tasks you can confidently complete keeps your dopamine and motivation levels steady, which will lead to goal success.

When tackling challenging goals that demand high motivation, consider changing your surroundings internally and externally. For example, if your goal is to get up early to exercise, place your alarm clock across the room to force you to get out of bed.

Don’t wait to get “motivated” before working on your goal. Trying to get motivated before starting on a new goal often keeps us in a mental loop, and then you never start. Shifting your focus from thought to action can be as simple as beginning with a small, manageable task. As they say … just do it!

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2. Cultivate a growth mindset to motivate new growth

Your mindset plays a significant role in shaping your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. A growth mindset is a belief our abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and effort. This mindset empowers you to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see failure as an opportunity for growth, which helps you achieve your goals when times get tough.

Your belief in your abilities and potential can significantly influence your success. Research has shown that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to take on challenges, put in effort, and persevere in the face of obstacles. They see setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve rather than indications of failure.

To cultivate a growth mindset, it's essential to identify and challenge your limiting beliefs. These beliefs can act as mental barriers and prevent you from fully realizing your potential. By examining the evidence supporting these beliefs and seeking alternative perspectives, you can reframe your thinking and develop a more empowering mindset.

What are other simple ways to cultivate a growth mindset?

Reading or watching positive and thought-provoking content, listening to new music, or going to a new place you haven't visited before are all small actions that yield great benefits.

When you give your brain new input, it must categorize and associate it with your neural pathways. This expands your thought process and encourages you to explore and remain curious. It also brings you pleasure, which triggers the release of dopamine. Your brain will recognize dopamine and want more of it, which encourages you to keep growing.

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3. Prioritize self-care and mental well-being to achieve peak performance

Your brain's capacity to support your goals is closely linked to overall well-being. Taking care of your mental and physical health is crucial for ensuring optimal brain function and cognitive performance.

Chronic stress has detrimental effects on your brain's function and impedes your ability to achieve goals. High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, can impair cognitive function, memory, and decision-making. It's essential to prioritize stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and adequate sleep to reduce the negative impact of stress on your brain.

A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep, is vital for brain health. Research has shown that proper nutrition, physical activity, and restful sleep support optimal brain function, memory consolidation, and cognitive performance. Sleep is vital; when you are tired, your ability to make positive decisions weakens. It’s easy to do something detrimental to your goals when defenses are down.

To prioritize self-care and mental well-being, it's important to establish daily habits that support brain health. This can include activities such as exercise, meditation, journaling, practicing gratitude, and engaging in hobbies or activities to bring joy and relaxation. By consistently incorporating these habits into our daily lives, you can create a strong foundation for your brain to support your goals.

Achieving goals to build the life of your dreams 

By understanding the power of neuroplasticity, cultivating a growth mindset, and prioritizing self-care and mental well-being, you can optimize your brain's potential to support your goals.

Leveraging insights from neuroscience allows you to create the right conditions for success and overcome obstacles.

With dedication, consistency, and a deep understanding of how your brain works, you can achieve remarkable progress to unlock your full potential.

Harness the power of your brain and make it your greatest ally in accomplishing your goals.

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Amy Bracht is a coach and consultant with a knack for transforming high-level concepts into practical solutions. She crafts innovative strategies designed to guide individuals toward their full potential.