Step 5: Neurohacks


In step 5 of Dr. Young’s method, he recommends neurohacks—making a small change in behavior, while letting the mind reflect on that change.  Popular thought suggests that change begins first with the mind, and then letting actions follow.  Dr. Young challenges this by suggesting that one makes small changes first, only to let the mind adapt.  For example, let’s say your goal is to become a nicer person.  You would begin by helping people in need—which would lead to becoming a nicer person.  You do not have to think about being a nicer person.  Neurohacks are a set of psychological tricks – quick and easy ways to reset the mind.  We can use neurohacks to push ourselves to do the things we want to do, while also helping others do things that are good for them.


Another example would be to change your password, to help you achieve your goal.  The Dr tells a story about how a client changed a personal account password, to help himself to stop smoking.  It’s been over five years now, since he’s quit.  The idea here is that it was important to him.  Each time he signed into an account, it was a reminder that he had changed that password for a reason.  It further ingrained the positive behavior into his mind.  If your goal is to get healthier, try changing your password.


Jump straight into what you fear, and do it.  We spend so much time thinking of all the things that can go wrong, that it often leads us to take no action at all.  The best remedy is to jump in, and do it right away.  This eliminates the deliberation, and you’ll find more often than not, that it’s really not that bad.


Add to whatever you’re doing.  Changing a password, jumping into action—these are easy steps towards our goals.  Remember, you can do these in addition to the other steps we’ve been discussing, in order to accelerate the time you get to your goal.  Let’s keep on moving forward, we only have two steps left!




Donny Mateak

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