Step 7: Engrained

 
 In Dr. Young’s final step, he discusses the ingraining of habits.  When  we build positive habits towards our goal, they become habits we rarely need to think about.  They stick easier, and they’re easy to return to at a hair-trigger.  It’s important to remember, that not only does it make them easier to do, but it also makes them harder to quit.  The reason the brain does this, is because it aims to be hyperefficient.  Dr. Young gives us a couple tips on ingraining positive behaviors into our lives.

The primary way to ingrain any behavior, is through repetition.  Repeated behaviors—if practiced every day, in the same place, and at the same time, will teach the brain that it needs to remember this behavior.  This is part of the process.

Next, add a new behavior to an existing one.  For example, if you want to go for a walk or jog every day, just do it after you put on your shoes.  You’re used to waking up and putting your shoes on.  Now, you’re simply adding an exercise to it.  After a couple of weeks, you will no longer have to think about it, and will naturally do it without thinking.

If you’ve been following along for the past six weeks, you now have all of the steps in Dr. Young’s method. Applying it to our lives, is what brings the change we need to reach our goals.  In order to know which recommendations will work best, Young advises that one must determine whether the behavior they are trying to improve is automatic (done without thinking), burning (conscious burning desire to do it, ex: playing video games for hours), or common (unwanted common behaviors; consciously eating junk food & hitting the snooze button daily).  Based on the type of behavior you are trying to improve or change, Dr. Young recommends certain strategies for each.

                     Automatic    Burning     Common

Stepladders                             *                  **                                                                          

Community                             *                  ***                                  

Important                                *                  **                                                             

Easy                   ***                 ***               **                                             

Neurohacks       *                     **                *                                                                    

Captivating        *                     **                **                                      

Engrained         ***                  ***              **                                                                 

Now we have everything needed, to improve our chances of sticking to positive behaviors in order to achieve our goals.  You now have the knowledge, but finding someone to keep you accountable will also improve your chances to succeed dramatically.  If your goals are to improve your athleticism or your health and fitness, we can definitely help keep you accountable and get you where you need to be.

 

Sincerely,

 

Donny Mateaki

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