Kickstart Behavioral Change to Accomplish More by Roger Hall

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Kickstart Behavioral Change to Accomplish More by Roger Hall

July 06
04:18 2020

What is the key to succeeding at anything you want to achieve? As a business psychologist, I’ve seen many people try to tackle problems the same way. It doesn’t matter what they want to succeed at-increasing revenue, creating a more positive work environment, improving time management, or even personal goals like saving money or losing weight. To accomplish anything, you must first change your behavior.

Roger Hall is a business psychologist, speaker, and author of Staying Happy, Being Productive

When I coach people, they often tell me that they’ve been learning more about what they want to do or have been trying to adopt new behaviors to achieve their goals. Maybe they plan to implement a new business strategy or start a fad diet. But how often does it work? The majority of New Year’s resolutions fail, and it’s for the same reason. People don’t accomplish their goals because they’re trying to change their behavior. Changing behavior is possible, but it’s incredibly difficult.

Did you ever wonder where your behavior comes from? Behavior patterns stem from thinking patterns. Rather than searching for motivation or learning more about how to accomplish your goal, you need to address the root of the problem. There’s one skill that incredibly productive, successful people tend to have in common: mental discipline. Once you learn mental discipline, it will be easier to accomplish anything, and you’ll be able to tackle your goals faster. To do so, you must learn to monitor and manage your thinking.

Your brain is divided into several sections. The prefrontal cortex is where you do your thinking, and that part of the brain is able to control your emotions, which are in the limbic system. The limbic system can then limit and control the body, therefore controlling your behavior. So your thoughts control your emotions, which control your behavior. That’s why it’s so difficult to change behavior without changing thoughts first. Changing your thoughts isn’t easy, either, but it’s possible because of neuroplasticity, the ability of your brain to change as it learns and reacts to things in the environment. Successful people use neuroplasticity to their advantage by training their thoughts to be more productive.

Most people are unaware of the way they think. They let their brains wander in a stream of consciousness and don’t spend much time examining the way their thoughts work or how their thoughts affect their behaviors. But if you spent a few minutes each day quietly, you’d become aware of your thought patterns and learn to control them. There are many names for this practice. Some people call it mindfulness; some call it meditation. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but you need to take the time to examine your thoughts, monitor, and manage them.

It’s important to monitor and manage your thoughts so that you can identify lies that you’re telling yourself, excuses, and unproductive thought patterns. Then, when you notice them, turn them into productive thoughts. Maybe you talk yourself down in your head. If you can turn that around and change your thoughts so that you begin to change your beliefs, you can become more confident in yourself and your ability to achieve whatever you want. People who have mastered this skill are successful because they are more resilient. They stick with a problem longer and don’t give up. And that’s critical to success.

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So how do you monitor and manage your thinking? Throughout your day, take notice of negative or unproductive thoughts, then stop the thought when you identify it and replace it with a productive one. It takes a lot of practice to become good at this and to make it a habit, but once you learn to do it, you can completely change your thought patterns. Here’s an exercise I often give to my clients:

Get a small pad of paper, a pencil, and an alarm, and carry these things with you throughout the day. Set the alarm to go off every hour for twelve hours. Every time the alarm goes off, quickly jot down whatever thought is on the top of your mind. Once you’ve done this for a week, you’ll have a long list of short thoughts, and you’ll be able to see patterns emerge. This will give you a better perspective of your thinking patterns to help you change them, and as you begin to reflect on your thoughts and repeat the task of noticing your thinking patterns, you’ll practice monitoring and managing your thoughts.

With practice, you’ll become more aware of your thought patterns, and as you learn to control your thoughts, you’ll be able to control your behaviors so you can accomplish anything easier and faster than you did before.

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