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  • 1. All images unless otherwise noted are from googleimages.com add or
  • 2. Actions like walking and driving were incredibly complex and difficult for you to learn initially, but soon you don’t even need to think about it.
  • 3. Have you ever arrived in a room in your house with no memory of what you came to get? After your brain told you to go get something, it knows it’s routine for you in your own house, so your mind started thinking of other things… This is the essence of habits - once you start on a familiar series of actions, you stop thinking about them, and you are able to complete them without conscious thought or attention.
  • 4. Our brain has billions of neurons that receive input from our sensory organs. The brain sets up pathways of these chemical impulses to help process and interpret the massive amounts of information we receive from the world around us.
  • 5. • The more often the thought develops or the action is done, the more connections and pathways that develop, so we can do things automatically without really having to think about it. Every time you repeat the habit the connection becomes stronger within the brain, so that it becomes second nature. This is how we develop habits – both good and bad.
  • 6.  This involves two parts of the midbrain - the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala controls the “fight or flight” response. This part of the brain takes over when we sense that we are in danger. (to survive the dangers of living in the wild, this built-in ability to sound a danger alarm every time you encounter something “different” was pretty handy!)  To the amygdala, anything that seems out of the norm is considered a danger!!!! So, to start exercising when you haven’t worked out in 5 years is out of the norm…
  • 7. Next thing you know, you are too tired to get out of bed to exercise. You planned to the night before, but you are just so inexplicably TIRED. Or, for some unknown reason, your left knee is killing you. Or, wouldn’t you know it, you woke up with a sinus headache… This is your amygdala in action. It is doing EXACTLY what it was designed to doto react to danger and stick with what seems normal…
  • 8. The trick is to take very small, seemingly insignificant steps towards the goal.  If these steps  are small enough, the amygdala will not take over.   Taking consistently small steps toward a larger goal,  allows habits to form almost effortlessly and in less  time than you might expect. Since the steps are small, the amygdala does not sense danger.  Therefore, it allows you to continue  taking the small steps.  If the steps are repeated  consistently, the hippocampus will retain the  information, and a habit will form.