It’s that time of the year that we start setting our personal, business, and health goals. This is all good and dandy, except, along the way, we tend to falter- especially on our health goals.
I’m as good as anyone in letting some health goals go by the wayside. Some of you might remember that my 2018 new year’s resolution was to savour as many mindful moments as possible. When reviewing my list of 54, I savoured 37 – that’s 74%. Good effort.
There’s a little voice in my head though that says – “well, you could have done better”. Yes indeed I could have. But, what’s important is not about how perfectly we achieve our goals, but rather, it’s that we make a serious effort to keep moving ourselves forward.
We need to ask: What have we learnt about ourselves and our experiences along the way? And how can we use that information to continue creating change?
I, like many others, am mediocre at slowing down and really enjoying the daily presence of life. In 2018, I discovered that the key is to focus on what you want to savour. Unless we focus we tend not to bother.
Reticular Activating System (RAS)
When we focus, the reticular activating system (RAS) in the brainstem gets switched on. Its purpose is to filter incoming information into what’s a keeper vs. what’s trash. This happens mostly instantaneously so we don’t have to think about it. Essentially, it uses our beliefs and internal filters as a guide to determine what’s important and what’s not. So, the RAS influences what we focus on and therefore impacts our behaviours and actions.
For example, if we believe that exercise is energising, then we will intently focus on achieving our exercise goals. Conversely, if we believe that exercise is effortful, then we will detract and defocus from engaging in effortful activities. Sound familiar?
As an aside, this is what The Law of Attraction is about. Despite how amazingly complex, fantabulous, and mysterious our brain is, the things we attract is probably not as mystical as we once thought . Science tells us that what we focus on, our RAS will seek it out for us; negativity attracts derogative experiences, positivity attracts pleasing experiences.
In a way, the RAS listens to what our conscious mind is saying and then informs the unconscious mind what it’s heard . In doing so, our intention about a goal is set and the RAS directs its attention to moving towards it. Setting the goal as an intention rather than a ‘want’ or ‘hope’ or ‘plan’, allows the unconscious and conscious minds to work together as a team about what’s expected. This tells the RAS to stay focused as change is inevitable. WOW!! I’m impressed. I’ve shared on the BWC Facebook page a cute YouTube clip  that explains how the RAS works for and against us.