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If You Want To Achieve Every Goal You Set, You Should Know This Magic Loop

If You Want To Achieve Every Goal You Set, You Should Know This Magic Loop

How One Year Is Too Long As A Feedback Loop

Decisions to change behavior normally begin with one choice. But the challenge is to stick with the plan to alter a specific behavior for one whole year. This one decision equates to multiple changes in a person’s daily life.

One year.  That’s a long time.  And waiting until the end of those 12 months to assess our progress is also problematic.  How can we properly or successfully identify areas of weakness or areas to pay closer attention if we wait 12 months, 52 weeks to make adjustments?  Most likely, we will have bailed on the project long before it had a chance for successful completion.

Tracking our progress is important.  And, if we begin to track our progress sooner rather than later, we may enjoy different results.  It is called the magic loop.  Assessing progress daily, weekly, monthly or every three months is one way to magically achieve results.

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The Magic Loop:

Daily Motivation and Reflection

Les Brown says we should review our goals twice a day to be focused on achieving them.

This may look like spending time planning each step.  In this step, a set of positive, encouraging affirmations to start the day can keep us focused on our goal and prepared to win.

Try telling yourself each day, “Anything worth achieving will always have obstacles, but I can do it!”

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Another suggestion is to regularly review the day’s progress, also known as daily reflection.  Ask yourself, “Did I work towards my goal today?  What did I do?  What did I skip?  How can I do better tomorrow?”

These questions and their subsequent answers will help us gauge our daily progress and improve on our results the next day.

Weekly Planning

Planning to succeed is vital, but so is celebrating our success.  At the beginning or end of each week, you can write out a plan to help you reach your New Year’s Resolution goal.  In this way, the newly desired behavior will become a habit instead of an “I tried it and I failed” attempt at success.

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For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of a three-month cycle, you could plan your meals for the week making sure you stay under the caloric intake.

By following your weekly plan, then doing daily reflection, you can magically advance towards your goal.  Then, at the end of the week, you can make another assessment to see how far you have come.

Monthly Tuning and Celebration

Hopefully, you are writing down your daily progress, which will help you remain focused. You can also review your daily notes on a weekly basis. Try writing a weekly summary as well or journaling your experience. At the end of the month, you can re-read your notes. Take the time to pay special attention to where you have come from and where you are going. Celebrate the successes with low or no-cost activities that affirm your hard work.

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Conclusion

Change requires action. Even the best and most prolific leaders do a review of the work they have done to see if it is paying off. Sometimes that action is multi-layered, like the magic loop. But the above-stated actions will yield results that will make you smile at the end of the year.

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Michelle Owens

Freelance Writer/Editor

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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