Here’s the situation: You decide that you want something amazing in your life, you get excited about it, you dream about it, you talk about it, and then after a few days the excitement starts to fade away. Then your mind comes up with justifications as to why you should keep doing what you are doing, and they make a lot of sense. And then, finally, you give up on that amazing thing you wanted.
Often years later you come back to that thing you wanted so badly and feel a twinge of regret for not going after it. Sometimes that twinge can get you to reignite the flame and start dreaming and talking about it again, but if your mind is in the same place, it will ultimately fade away again.
If you are anything like me, you don’t want to live with regret. You don’t want to wake up one day wishing you had gone after that amazing thing. You don’t want to wonder whether or not you could have achieved your biggest dreams in life. It’s a painful way to live, and the more life goes on, the more painful it seems to get.
That’s why you need to retrain your brain to help you get those amazing things. You need to help it stay focused on what you want and passionate about those big dreams you have. You also need to strengthen it and make it strong in the face of fear, failure, struggle or just plain boredom.
When you develop a brain that keeps working on achieving those amazing things you want, your chances of getting what you want will grow exponentially. You may not always end up getting exactly what you were going after, but you will get something similar or better.
For instance, you may not get that elephant you wanted as a pet, but you may be led to a horse that you couldn’t imagine life without.
Sometimes we don’t know what will make us happiest until we start traveling down the road towards what we want.
A Plan To Retrain Your Mind To Commit For The Long Haul
In this article, I’m going to use the example of wanting to travel in an RV full-time. It’s a big dream. The idea is a dream many people have as they think about a way to travel, explore, connect with nature, and get out of their mortgage and debt. It is easily let go, though. It can take some time to achieve, which requires endurance. And it is far from traditional, so keeping a passionate and focused mind around it is important.
But, this plan to retrain your mind will work for anything in your life, not just for retraining your mind to commit to your full-time RV lifestyle. When you get excited about something, use the following plan to help retrain your mind from its desire to let go of the notion to hold onto it and find ways to work towards it.
1. Write Down The ‘Whys’
First, before anything else, get out a piece of paper or large cardstock, or open up a Word document, and write down WHY you want to achieve that amazing thing in your life. The ‘why’ is what got you excited in the first place, so you will want to hold onto it.
It’s been proven over and over again that people who write down their dreams and goals are much more likely to transform what they want into reality. In fact, one study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, found that if you write down your dreams and goals you are 42% more likely to accomplish them. So that’s a good start to our plan!
You may think that holding onto the reasons why inside your mind is enough, but it’s not. Your mind is trained to give up and let go of an idea that’s too hard, so as it starts to think about reasons why you should let go of the dream, the ‘whys’ will start to dwindle until you can barely feel the excitement you felt in the first place.
BUT, when you write them down and look at them often, you reverberate the importance of achieving these goals to your mind. Your mind can’t just simply let go of the ideas on why you should go after your dreams. It’s forced to see those reasons day in and day out and ponder them over.
And the more your mind ponders them over, the more it becomes a part of your mind’s daily thoughts – or routine. Your mind finds reasons to hold onto those ‘whys’ and you find yourself constantly thinking about achieving those dreams you set out to achieve.
Even if you are not feeling a ton of excitement and passion like you did in the first place, you will still feel many moments of excitement and passion because your mind can’t forget those ‘whys’.
You can do this in any way you want. As long as you can see it and it excites you, it will work. Three big ways to write down your ‘whys’ are:
a) Create a list on a piece of paper. Write down each reason you want to achieve what you want to achieve. Make sure you are detailed about it.
– I want to travel full-time and experience everything this country has to offer. There are so many beautiful places around that I may not get to see otherwise.
– I want to spend more time with my family and less time in the office. Each hour gained with my family will add to my health and my happiness and quality of life.
– I want to spend less time cleaning and more time living! Those hours spent cleaning my big house could be used exploring with my family.
b) Get a big piece of cardstock, and along with your written out reasons, put up pictures that help you visualize your ‘whys’ better.
For example, you can add pictures that showcase exciting spots that you want to see across the country. Doing this will help drive home your ‘whys’ even more.
c) Create a new word document, write down your ‘whys’ and then add pictures in that document. You can find all kinds of pictures to paste into your document that will help emphasize your ‘whys’. Then either print it out or look at it daily on your computer.
2. Immerse Yourself In What You Want To Achieve
Your mind is affected by what it sees. And because the world seems to be a scary place where people focus on fear, the chances are good you will see a lot of things that make you fearful about going after your biggest dreams in life.
For instance, if you want to live full-time in an RV, you may see stories online about how hard it is or how many things there are to consider or how much work is required to get to that point. All of those negative things will make your mind question whether or not you can really do this. And, if the reasons why you can’t become too convincing, you will rip down your ‘whys’ and let your justifications take over.
That’s when you start to head down the road of regret!
Instead of letting that happen, immerse in what you want.
– Go to RV parks and talk to people who are traveling full-time.
– Watch people on YouTube who are living out their dreams of full-time RVing with their kids, pets, or just themselves.
– Read about how to make full-time RVing work for you.
– Read about people who have lived it and learn from their mistakes and successes.
– Immerse yourself into the world of RVs and traveling full-time and give your mind plenty of positives and hopeful thoughts so that it can stay on the right track as you move along.
Another advantage of immersing yourself in what you want to achieve is you start to build a mental plan on how to reach your dreams. This is because the more you learn about what you want, the more you know what you need to do to get there.
For instance, the more you learn about how to travel full-time in an RV, the more you learn about how much money you need to save and make so that you can travel full-time. That helps you figure out how much you need to save per month as part of your budget, or it encourages you to find a new job and make more money. And, once you start saving or making more money, your mind sees your dream as a much more realistic thing, which keeps it focused on going after it.
Lastly, immersing yourself in the world of where you want to be makes going after it less scary and improves the longevity of doing what needs to be done. You can see it’s possible to achieve, so you stay hopeful. Other people are doing it and having success. You can see what needs to be done to help you achieve success. And, your reality of what is possible shifts.
That’s when your mind lets go of a lot of resistance and embraces the idea that this thing may really work out for you! Going down the path towards your dream is much easier when you retrain your mind in this way.
3. Let Go Of The ‘How’
Your mind likes realistic plans and ideas. It likes patterns and paths that are clear. It doesn’t like struggle and uncertainty. In order to stay committed to your goals and dreams, you have to be willing to retrain your mind to let go of needing to know how things are going to work out and, instead, accept that with the right actions things will work out.
For many people, believing that someone or something wants them to achieve their goals and dreams and is helping them do that can help them let go of the ‘how’.
For instance, if you believe in the Law of Attraction, you believe that the universe is going to bring you everything you need to make your dreams and goals come true, and you just need to be open and aware enough to see those things and take action on them.
Or, if you believe in God, then you believe that God wants the best for you and will answer your prayers. You may not always receive what you ask for, but you will receive responses that help you move forward in the best way possible.
Either way, believing that there is a higher power working for you and not against you is important.
And, if you don’t believe in either of those things, then it’s important to retrain your mind to focus on doing what matters now. Because being in the moment and doing what you can visibly see you need to do is the only way to move towards what you want in life.
Sitting around and waiting for some magical moment to make your move will keep you in a perpetual state of sitting around and waiting for some magical moment to make your move. Your mind will always be waiting for the perfect moment to get busy, and there’s a good chance it may not come – or you may miss it.
But, if you retrain your mind to do something, anything, right now that could move you towards your goal, then your mind will adopt this new belief that doing something now is better than doing nothing. And, you will increase your chances of doing the right things at the right time.
For example, buying an RV requires money. Your mind may spend a lot of time wondering how you will get that money. But, wondering will do nothing to get you money. Instead, working on a new project that could earn you the money you need gives you a better chance of getting it.
Understanding that will help your mind believe that the ‘how’ does not live in the future somewhere, but is here in the present moment. And as long as you are constantly taking action on things, you are creating the how.
4. Improve Your Self-Talk
The way that you talk to yourself affects how your mind thinks about you and what you are capable of achieving. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are not worthy enough, strong enough, or capable enough of reaching your dreams, then you are going to limit what you will be willing to do to reach your dreams.
For instance, if you know you need to earn a decent income remotely in order to live full time in your RV, negative self-talk could sabotage your confidence in being able to do it. Telling yourself that you are not capable of making enough money or talented enough to earn a lot of money can be damaging to your willingness to at least try.
That’s why you need to retrain your mind to visualize what you are capable of, the possibilities that are out there, and the potential that you have. And, when that happens, you will start to talk to yourself differently.
By immersing yourself in what you want to do, you will start to retrain your mind in this way. But, you also need to improve the way you talk to yourself.
The best thing you can do is to talk to yourself in a way that you would talk to others. For instance, would you talk to your grandma in a way that disrespects her? Would you tell her that she’s lazy, dumb, or incapable? Of course not! She is none of those things.
And neither are you.
We all have unlimited potential and unique gifts, and when you stop talking to yourself in a negative way, your confidence starts to grow as you recognize that potential and those gifts.
Another thing that I have found works is turning negative self-talk into projects.
For instance, when you are about to tell yourself how incapable you are of traveling full-time, ask yourself why you are saying that? Then, ask yourself what project can you take on to disprove that negative (and limiting) belief? If you fear the wilderness, can you join a hiking group and start conquering that fear? If you think you couldn’t live in a smaller space, can you rent an RV and give it a shot for a few weeks?
By making your negative self-talk into a project, you can prove to yourself that the negative self-talk is bogus and replace it with more positive self-talk that helps your mind stay committed to achieving your dreams.
5. Live In A Healthy Way
A healthy body equals a healthy mind. When you are sick, it’s hard to be positive about anything, never mind hopeful about your dreams and goals. If you are constantly tired or in pain, it’s also hard. You need to feel good in order to think good thoughts. So, in order to retrain your mind towards commitment, you need to work on your physical health.
Everyone is different, but there are some basic things you should be doing to take control of your mind and make it work optimally for you, including:
– Drinking plenty of water: Your body and your brain need water. Without proper hydration, neither can function properly. How fast can this work? A man I know in his late 60s has never drunk much water. He was always tired and had a hard time concentrating. After just a few days of hydrating himself with water instead of pop, he felt better than he had in years.
– Get plenty of sleep: Everyone requires different amounts of sleep. Some are fine with a few hours and others require much longer. The proper amount of sleep for you is important to retrain your mind. If you are tried, then you will lack the energy needed to focus, take action, and do the above things in your plan. Instead, you will just want to ‘catch up on your sleep’ and waste precious time in a daze.
– Eat a healthy diet: Stop eating sugar, processed foods, fast food, and foods loaded with chemicals. The food you put into your body affects your mental state in many different ways. For instance, eating sugar can cause a high glucose level in the bloodstream, which can cause confusion and an unstable mind. It’s going to be hard to retrain your mind in that case.
I highly recommend going to at least one session with a Naturopathic doctor. They can often help you tackle the root problems with your mind and body through lifestyle and nutrition. You may find your body and mind improve so much that your mind almost seems to retrain itself without a lot of help!
6. Ask Lofty Questions Along The Way
This is something I learned from Christie Marie Sheldon, and it’s a great way to retrain your mind for more commitment to your goals and dreams. Why? Because it helps you stay open to answers, and it helps you find answers that move you along your path.
A lofty question is an uplifting question as opposed to a normal question, so it can help you improve your self-talk. And the answers you receive can help you let go of the ‘how’ and get busy on taking action.
An example of a normal question people ask would be: Why can’t I make enough money to buy an RV? As Christie says, the universe loves you enough to give you the answers to the question you ask. So, you will get answers like ‘Because you have a salary cap’ or, ‘Because you are working at a crappy job’ or, ‘because you aren’t knowledgeable enough to make the kind of money you want’. All of those answers just beat you up. They don’t help your mind figure out what to do next. Heck, they don’t even help your mind stay positive!
An example of a lofty question people could ask would be: What’s one big thing I could do to make enough money to buy an RV? By asking this type of question, Christie says you are opening yourself up to a flood of answers. You’ll find that many answers show up in your life and you can pick and choose something to take action on right now.
The big thing to remember is that you must stay open to answers. You have to keep your awareness open to spot answers and your intuition open to find answers. Your awareness will help you see them when they arise, and your intuition will help you make choices that get you to a place where your awareness can see them.
You Can Retrain Your Mind And Make It More Committed And Dream-Orientated
There is a quote that says, “The only limits in life are the ones you make.” If you don’t try to retrain your mind, then you are making limits for yourself. But, if you are willing to do the above things, you will start to retrain your mind to think positively, take action, and stay hopeful. That’s when good things will start happening.
It may take some work in the beginning, but the more your mind changes, the easier it will become. Soon, all goals and dreams will seem more realistic and doable and life will start to change for the better.