NOT a New Year’s Resolution
Let’s not talk about New Year’s resolutions. K? For most people, they are a distant memory by February. That is not what you want.
Let’s talk about setting ourselves up to win! Let’s talk about creating goals that are in line with your purpose and achieving them. You can set these goals at the start of a new year, but create them in a way that won’t fade in two weeks. 🙂
Your Powerful RAS
There is a tiny area of your brain that is the gatekeeper for your whole thinking brain. It is this small reticular activating system (RAS) that determines what you notice, pay attention to, and find ways to achieve. You can harness the power of your RAS to achieve your goals.
Out of the millions of messages your brain receives every second of the day, it can only process about 130. It is your RAS that decides which of the millions to focus on. I can sleep through just about anything, but if one of my kids starts to puke, I’m awake and out of bed in a flash. Why? My RAS knows that particular sound is important. I hear it (even while asleep) and the gatekeeper of my brain ensures I focus on it.
Keeping my kids safe and healthy is, of course, an important goal. I’ve communicated this to my reticular activating system so that it clearly helps me focus on ways to prioritize and achieve success.
The Law of Attraction
The law of attraction states you will attract into your life whatever you are focusing on. Some people love this idea. Some think it is New-Agey woo-woo and recoil from the thought. I would like to submit that the law of attraction is actually part of (or a result of) your RAS.
Every single second, your reticular activating system is sorting through millions of messages. It places a priority on the signals related to your goals and what you value. This part of your brain will work hard to find ways to help you attain what you are focused on. Your RAS enables the law of attraction.
Gratitude & a Cup Half Full
Do you list 5+ things you are grateful for each evening? If so, you have told your RAS to be on the alert for various things throughout your day you can list that night. Therefore, you will notice more during the day that you are grateful for. Those things didn’t just appear. They would have been there whether or not you were paying attention, but because you have communicated to your RAS that it is important to be grateful, your brain’s gatekeeper drew your attention to them.
When someone says they are a “cup half full” or a “cup half empty” person, they are telling what they (perhaps subconsciously) believe is important to find in the world. For example, Heather is focused on safety and has a fear of harm. She might notice all the dangers around her. Amy, on the other hand, loves to thank others for their hard work and contributions. She will notice all of these details. Neither of these women created dangers or hard work. Their brain just prioritized these signals.
Harness This Power
Now that you know how powerful this small part of your brain is, let’s figure out how to utilize it for success! What is a goal you have right now? First, we want to give our reticular activating system some specifics. Make the goal measurable. Give it a timeline. Check to see if this is a goal you want or if it is something you believe you should do to please someone else. Goals that you own are more likely to be achievable.
Now that you have a clearly defined goal, your RAS can help you achieve it. But let’s make sure your RAS knows it is really important to you. The more pathways you use to get to your brain create a higher priority for your RAS. This is multiplied when you review the goal frequently.
Your first step, then, is to write it down on paper. Your brain processes things differently on a screen versus paper, so write your goal by hand.
Use your senses combined with pen and paper to convey significance. Read your goal out loud. As you do this, you are seeing your goal, and hearing it. When you write it, see it, say it, and hear it, your RAS is taking note.
The more priority your RAS places on this goal, the harder it will sort through the millions of signals you receive each second to ensure you take notice of all the ways you can achieve your goal.
I challenge you to ignite your reticular activating system. Let it know what is a priority for you right now. Then follow the steps that seem to fall into place for you. I’m not promising that the work will be easy, but your RAS will help you focus on what is important. You can intuitively create incredible results.
Do you want the worksheet I use with my private clients? It’s available for free in the files of my Whole Health Community Facebook group. Come on over, grab the worksheet, and join our conversations!
Title photo by eberhard grossgasteiger from Pexels