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4 Neuroscience Hacks To Achieve Your Goals In 2021

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So, it is 2021. You have stepped on the scale. Dusted off your Peloton bike. Even got a new organizer app on your smartphone. When the champagne bubbles fizzle and the holiday cheer fades, you are left with the “Current You 1.0”. The current version is disorganized, moody, and stuck in middle management. The vast gap between “Current You 1.0” and “Future You 2.0” is populated by pieces of paper with failed New Years’ resolutions. The “Future You 2.0” looks shiny in comparison with the 2020 edition- fit, organized, and up for a promotion. 

How To Hack Neuroscience 

  1. Know the capabilities of your brain – Neuroscience is not just for science nerds anymore. Popular culture has distilled this complicated discipline into bite-size pieces of information to benefit the curious consumer. On a fundamental brain chemistry level, the amygdala, and the frontal lobe work together to help you reach your goals. The amygdala evaluates the degree to which the goal is important to you. And the frontal lobe defines the specifics of the goal for a powerful and precise combination of goal achievement. 
  2. Leverage the power of neuroplasticity – The term neuroplasticity has captivated scientists in the latest research. The dictionary defines neuroplasticity as “the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury”. This is great news because goal setting literally changes the structure of the brain, so it is wired to achieve that goal. As the self-help cottage industry preaches, “if your goals don’t scare you, they are not big enough”. It should be changed, “if your goals don’t rewire your brain, they are not big enough”. 
  3. Be intentional with how you set your goals – Inc.com has found that “goals affect performance by directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating strategy development”. In other words, goals contribute to the optimal performance of the brain. It is the reason you are unlikely to meet people who changed the world without ambitious goals. Goals that have a strong emotional resonance are more impactful on brain structure than weak goals. Combined with the science behind habit loops and patterns of human behavior, scientists advise those people who want to change to be intentional about it. 
  4. Set yourself up for success- Each person is a collection of habit loops with triggers, behaviors, and rewards. On average it takes 90 days to adopt a new habit by substituting one of the components in the habit loop and reinforcing the behavior. When faced with bridging the divide between “Current You 1.0” and “Future You 2.0”, you are setting yourself up for success by planning deeply personal and emotional goals that can be achieved in small increments by changing one thing at a time.

New Year Brings New Beginnings

2021 is the year you do things differently. It is the year the “Future You 2.0” becomes a reality and not only baptized by a piece of paper but the brain-changing power of goals. 

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