A couple of years ago, I completed a two-year intensive training in Hakomi Therapy with the META Institute. The most recent research in neurobiology shows that mindfulness-based therapy is very effective for long term sustainable change. My life and career coaching clients come to me for one primary reason: They are ready for Change!

This recent article on Mind Body Green gives a succinct explanation about how change occurs in the neural pathways of the brain.  “We have trillions of brain cells, resulting in thousands (if not millions) of strings of lights correlating with our habits in all areas of our life. Donald Hebb’s landmark discovery in 1949, “neurons that fire together wire together,” best explains the process of wiring and strengthening brain pathways. The key is to activate as many of these pathways as possible given they work synergistically. One pathway alone is not enough to successfully rewire your brain. However, when you repeatedly align your beliefs, feelings, vision, and actions you will experience lasting changes in your brain.”

Neural Connections In the Human Brain

Neural Connections In the Human Brain

The most important things to know about rewiring your brain for change:

  1.  Just thinking positive thoughts will NOT lead to positive change.
  2. Emotions are the fuel for changing your intentions. If you are reciting an affirmation that you don’t feel, it won’t help. As a matter of fact, it may keep you even more stuck.
  3. Visualization works! Athletes who are injured can mentally practice their sport and show quicker recovery times. You can “practice” your new habit by strongly visualizing it, while feeling the emotion as if it was already true.
  4. Take reasonable, regular action that support your goal. Every time you DO something in alignment with your future vision, you are anchoring in that new neural pathway in the brain.

The New Year often has people setting goals and making resolutions. If you are going to commit to change for 2014, make it stick in your brain, literally!