Following a recent keynote, the moderator asked me a question on behalf of the audience; “Why do people fall back into old habits when they know there are better options for them?”

For the most part, I believe that it’s due to stress. Many people are busy and overwhelmed, holding onto survival patterns and habits. This means they are not in a whole-brain processing state or making use of their executive functioning skills, the brain region that is required to plan, strategize, problem solve, create and innovate.

On that note, I decided to write an article called REWIRE – an acronym that shares important and user-friendly neuroscience concepts to make change and goal achievement easier and more accessible, even when life is full!


1) REPETITION – Did you know that your brain is designed to change? It’s a jelly-like substance that is malleable and modifiable. With the right knowledge and tools, all of us can tap into this ‘neuroplasticity’ and impact how our brain functions.

But beware! You can use this FOR or AGAINST yourself. Whatever you repeat on a regular basis creates more neurons and neural networks that will support and engrain that habit and way of thinking. If you are happy with your results, then continue what you are doing. However, if you are not satisfied, then maybe it’s time to get some new habits into place and fortify a new and improved brain network.

2) ENGAGE – If you are serious about making changes in your life, you need to engage in supportive actions that align with your goals. In other words, you can’t just talk or think about it, you need to DO something! While a person’s mindset is powerful, the actual DOING will activate a substantial neural response, and resulting brain connections, to invoke and support change. In neuroscience terms: how you fire it, is how you wire it! You might like to hire a coach or mentor to support you in implementing actionable strategies.

3) WHY?! Have you ever heard of the acronym WIFM? It stands for: “What’s In It for Me?” As with anything in life, there needs to be some element or degree of motivation to get us started. For example, you are hungry enough to make a meal, tired enough to go to sleep, smelly enough to take a shower…etc. This is the same with life goals, too. When we need or want it strongly enough, we let go of our current situation and move into new terrain.

So take a moment and connect to the reason behind your desired life change or goal. What’s your motivation? How would your life look, feel, or be different if you were to achieve it? Take your time with this. Clarifying and anchoring your intention is the precursor to actually delivering on it.

4) IMAGINE – Did you know that visualizing yourself performing an activity is almost as powerful as doing it? Visualization works because the same brain regions are activated when you mentally rehearse something as when you actually perform it in 3D reality. With this knowledge we can really leverage our efforts! If you want to improve your athletic performance, deliver a powerful presentation, talk about a delicate subject with a friend or co-worker, you can rehearse ahead of time and improve the likelihood of more positive outcomes. To enhance your practise, add in your senses and engage your muscles while you are visualizing – even act it out! This way you are enlivening your own BRAIN STORY which will directly impact your LIFE STORY.

5) RELEASE – In order to bring the ‘new’ into your life, you absolutely need to make space for it. For example, if your calendar is already jammed pack with commitments, how will you schedule in new opportunities? If your cupboards are full of food that doesn’t nourish you, where will you put new items that will? If your mind is so busy analysing and regurgitating familiar thoughts and material, how will you have time to imagine and invite new possibilities? Taking time to do some weeding out will lighten your current load and shift your energy into the direction you actually want to go.

This can be done on both a physical and mental level. From a physical vantage point, I recommend implementing 10 to 15 minute bouts of time to go around your home and/or office space tossing items that you no longer want or need. By doing this in short spurts of time, you become motivated by a ‘do-able’ challenge versus procrastinating because you gave yourself all day to work on it. Many short stints of weeding out will add up quickly! This is also similar on a mental level. Taking regular moments throughout your day to pause, focus on your breath, and clear your mind will make space for new creative thoughts to emerge.

6) ELEVATE – So often we overlook the process involved to get us to our actual accomplishments and only believe the end result is worthy of our recognition. The reality is, without all the steps in between, we wouldn’t be there! As they say in show biz, “it’s a long road to an overnight success!” Every step is part of the bigger picture and if you want to make the “long road” fun and enjoyable, recognizing all your combined efforts will be worth it. Research has shown that as children are growing and developing, being acknowledged for their efforts plays a big role in keeping them motivated and anchoring each new skill. Adults are not much different. We all do better being affirmed for our efforts. There are many simple, quick, and affordable ways you can bring in an element of celebration on a regular basis. A high five can go a long way!

To your new growth,