I'm going to go out on a limb here
and say that we do not need another list of ten things to do to lose weight, succeed in business, or find happiness in 2017. My plan is to have no plan this year. I'm putting my money on my inner resources. Here are some ideas for accessing what's already there- inside you. Nothing to buy or change. Just use what you've got. Turns out there is power in the blank spaces, the silence, your patterns, your feedback loops, your cells, and your feelings.
Curiosity saved the cat. Literally. Let's say you are not feeling up to the rigors of starting something new. If you ask yourself 'why' you are feeling this way, you have made it past the first gate toward solving a problem, making a move, or eliminating an issue. In his book, The Upward Spiral, Alex Korb says that feelings like pride, guilt, and shame activate neural circuits that provide brain stimulation to "act" in order to receive the "reward". Recognizing your motivation for not being able to get off the couch, could lead you to getting off the couch. Another habit, worrying, can be a brain activator too. Worrying makes our brains feel better which in turn makes us relax because we feel as if we are doing something which finally makes us actually do something.
No Equipment Needed
Now that you are off the couch, you might think about some Yoga. Yoga stimulates the frontal lobe insula which integrates thoughts and emotions. I don't know about you but I need this. We all know what happens when the head and the heart are at odds. Then there's that other little ditty, buried beneath the dirty laundry, Intuition. Trust it. You have it. Intuition is where a solution materializes all of a sudden. Research shows that the part of the brain for fast, automatic, unconscious cognitive operations lies beneath the basal ganglia, is linked to, but is not a part of the cortex. Early findings show the brain brings the output of unconscious processing into awareness, but we are not exactly sure why. Anecdotal evidence shows that if you use it more, it will sharpen and increase in frequency. Ask a woman who has been practicing this for years.
Who's in Charge Here
If you think you are going to think your way to greatness, try using the heart instead with empathy and gratitude. The current research tells us that the heart produces by far the body's most powerful rhythmic electromagnetic field. That field changes as we experience different emotions. It registers in people's brains around us, affects cells, water, and DNA in vitro. Gratitude works by just thinking about what you are grateful for which boosts serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Your brain converts your quiet mental review into happy chemicals. If you are still rejecting the "follow your heart" or "do what you love" ideas, science says, " get on board!"
Day Dreamers Wanted
I have written a lot about night dreams but I want to give a shout-out to Day Dreamers. I am the stare-into-space-kind. I have a favorite button that says," It might look like I'm doing nothing but on a cellular level I'm really quite busy." I have often been accused of spending an inordinate amount of time appearing to do nothing. My body of work defies this. Part of my process is actively imagining or dreaming my story, song, or business idea. I am a big fan of quiet time, nothingness, and space. I feel this is my work time and expect not to be disturbed as if I am not busy. If you meditate in a traditional way, I applaud you. But meditation can also be as simple as taking a few minutes of time-out where the brain rests, sorts, and clears space in the closet for new ideas. If Creativity is the skill of the future, we must all learn to leave space for new ideas.
Dare to Be Wrong
A final note for my No Plan Plan- when you are trying out new things (risk), you're going to be wrong a good percent of the time. Admit it. It will save time. You only learn from mistakes if you are humble enough to admit them. You don't need another list of things that worked and those that didn't. You know. To be self aware is to be rocket fueled. You will move along your path at great speed and it will appear effortless to others. You will know it's not, but they don't need to know. It will be our little secret in 2017.
Every bit of this is free and available to you right this minute and tomorrow too.
Jan Bozarth has made a career out of her words, music, and images. She is a published songwriter and book writer ( The Fairy Godmother Academy Series Random House/Yearling) and producer of entertainment for girls, women, and anyone who has a dream.