Why and How micro-transformations work

Your brain has an amazing network of brain cells, called neurons, all connected to each other. These connections between neurons form pathways, communication channels in the brain. These pathways are how the brain’s different areas communicate with each other. From a scientific standpoint, habits are simply neural pathways that are regularly activated (i.e. strong neural connections are formed).

If every morning for the last 10 years, you have set your alarm to wake up at 7am and then snoozed for another 20 minutes before getting out of bed, you will have a strong neural pathway to tell you to do that exact routine tomorrow, the next day and every day after that. It will have all started with you doing it once and then repeating it.

Micro-transformations focus on introducing one new small change and repeating it until it becomes a good habit. This strengthens new neural pathways. Because neural pathways operate like muscles they get stronger with use and weaker when neglected. Changing a habit is nothing more than simultaneously weakening one pathway by not using it and strengthening another (perhaps new) pathway by regular use.

Seeing your habits in this way helps you form an accurate mental image of what’s really happening in your brain while you’re trying to change.

Many people who make resolutions or set out to change believe they can do so overnight or in a short amount of time. Generally, this won’t work and it’s clear why not. If it’s a bad habit you’ve strengthened over many years, you can’t just drop it. Your brain has been well-trained to execute that habit when triggered by the environment or an internal thought. Likewise if you want to become a different person (more successful, slim, wealthy, and attractive) and try to do it all at once it’s too hard to introduce all the necessary changes in one go.

This is why micro-transformations are so effective, you introduce one small positive change at a time and then strengthen it by doing it repeatedly and methodically over a period of time until it is part of your daily life, just like how you would build your biceps.

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