Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This Year I Will...

Okay, I am reading the best self-improvement book. It's called This Year I Will... by M.J. Ryan. I only started the book 2 days ago, and last night I was referring to it and telling friends how great it was, but then realized I had actually only read the introduction and the first little chapter. Perhaps I was jumping the gun. But now I'm a good solid 1/4 the way through the book and it's still worthy of last night's praises.

It's not about breaking old habits necessarily, as much as it is about creating new and better ones. (For example, instead of breaking the habit of smoking, you're creating the new habit of not smoking.) According to the book, inside our heads are 3 brains, not just one. The reptilian brain (instinctive), the emotional brain, and the thinking brain. The emotional brain is all about keeping us comfortable and happy. And sometimes this goes against the thinking brain. And the emotional brain pretty much always wins. So, when you're trying to break a bad habit, or start a good one, things can get a little uncomfortable. And then the emotional brain tries to take over and get everything in a happy state again. Which isn't always the best thing.

The book also states that things we do over an over (habits) are like deeply worn trenches in your brain circuitry. 90% of the stuff we do is routine, and we end up sort of sleepwalking through it all. It explains why behavior can be so challenging to change.

I love it that this book isn't just talking about the discipline of making positive changes in life, but that it talks about the brain and human behavior. It's filled with what I've found to be interesting little bits of information. And I'm only a quarter way through the book!

So it you really want to make some kind of positive change in your life, anything from losing weight, to finding a mate, this book can offer some great information and tips.

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