Press Release: January 04, 2010
The key to effective New Year Resolutions and lasting change.
Every year over seven million people make a New Year resolution with only twenty per cent of participants actually following through! *1
Its all too easy to make a resolution in the heat of the moment during New Year celebrations, especially when fuelled by alcohol! Words are easy to say, following through with action is often more problematic. Come January and the return of routine of work and life it is easy to allow Homeostasis to set back in and we forget all about those good intentions.
Steve Mycoe, an Author and Success Coach, says he has the answer to long term change. There are specific biological mechanisms underlying behavioural change that are responsible for peoples failure to act on their good intentions he says. Often failure happens not only on one occasion but year after year with the same old resolution dusted off and never actually satisfied.
From his work with athletes Steve has developed a technique that will ignite our good intentions and help motivate us to achieve our goals throughout 2010. The technique is a form of mental imagery (Deep Goal Visualisation!) that creates real physical changes in the brain and instigates behavioural change.
The use of this technique is the difference between those who are successful in achieving what they want from life and those who just seem to go around in circles.
There are two main mechanisms in the brain that create change and motivate us; The Reticular Activating System (RAS) and the Motor Cortex.
Reticular Activating System.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is the part of the brain stem that acts as an Automatic Goal Seeking device! If we program it correctly it guides us towards the people and circumstances that will allow us to achieve our ambitions.
The RAS is akin to a junction box that filters external environmental factors that influence our internal thoughts, feelings and actions. It is responsible for the lifestyles that we have and our desires for the future. If we dont deliberately program this system to focus on the goals that we crave our achievements maybe haphazard and we might never attain them.
And secondly we must activate the Motor Cortexes of the brain in order to build new neurons that will give us the mental and physical abilities to carry out our intentions.
The Motor Cortex.
The Motor Cortex is the part of the brain that controls muscular activity. Before you can catch a high speed cricket ball for example, the neurons in your motor cortex have to activate and send a command to the muscle to move. The more often you do this the better you become at catching. If you want to become an excellent cricketer you need to practice catching perfectly, without faults. This isnt always possible in real life. This is where Deep Goal Visualization comes in.
When visualizing at a deep level the brain has the ability to temporarily divert the signal away from the muscles and loop the circuit around the brain. We can then activate the mind to perform perfectly in a given situation without actually physically doing it, but the brain does not know the difference between actually doing it and visualizing the same brain areas are activated. Once we have built the physical neuro pathways in the brain to perform perfectly, then we can go out and do it for real having already set up the mental framework to support our physical beings.
What many people fail to realize is that Visualisation is real, thoughts are real. Thoughts are electrical impulses that build real physical neuro pathways. These can either assist us in our lives or hinder us depending on if you choose to harness their power.
Deep Goal Visualisation
The reason Deep Goal Visualisation is so powerful is because it activates both the RAS and the Motor Cortexes.
Below are the effective strategies of Deep Goal Visualisation and the secret to long term change in the New Year.
Close your eyes and relax your muscles one at a time. By using progressive relaxation, that is sitting quietly and gradually relaxing each muscle group from your head to your toes will alter your level of awareness and allow you access to the unconscious mind where your behaviours are based. This is a technique that most high street hypnotherapists will use to begin putting you in a trance.
Visualise Deeply. Create vivid mental imagery, include sounds, smells and colour in your visualisations. The more real you make a given scenario the better. Vivid imagery is proven to activate motor areas of your cortex, to make actual physical changes in your body not just imagined but real physical neuro-connections.
Make it emotional. Emotion, good or bad, creates faster change. Associate strong emotion with achieving your goal whatever it is. If you want to get the job of your dreams imagine the elation youd feel upon receiving that job acceptance letter in the post, or the bigger pay cheque at the end of your first month. Practice creating emotion when visualising.
Practice Visualisation on a regular basis. Many of us have weak visual muscles that need exercising. Were a nation who has gotten used to using other peoples imaginations, TV programmes, computer games, books etc. Without really tapping into our own. The more you use visualisation the better youll become and the more change youll be able to generate.
Research has also suggested that making a public declaration about your resolutions motivates people and helps prevent them from going back on their goals, especially if they find a resolution buddy. Someone one who will join them in their goal or just hold them to account on a regular basis.
Steve has created a public declaration forum on his website so that we can remind ourselves of our goals during 2010. Potential Resolution Buddies can add comments if they wish to support you!
There will also be a Free Deep Goal Visualisation MP3 download for those who would like a little more help with creating a strong vision of their desired future.
*1- How to keep your New Years resolution - December 29, 2009 by prof Richard Wiseman The University of Hertfordshire,
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