“The reticular activating system is an impressive-sounding name for a fairly small piece of the brain. This lesson describes the structure and function of this piece of the brain, which is important in attention, goal-achievement, and keeping you alive.” Study(.com)
This refers to setting up a crystal clear future goal. It is like casting an anchor out into the distance of the timeline of your life creating a lifeline you use to pull yourself toward your goals. Visualize what your life will be in the next three years. Define this goal in such a way that you can see, hear, touch, smell and taste how you will be. Having such a clear future goal helps the unconscious mind to dedicate your conscious efforts towards achieving it. This works well for shorter time spams too. Focus on the outcomes you want to achieve and experience in the next three months, or the next week or even the next hour! Be sure to include as many senses as you can in your visualization. If you want to be it, you need to see it!
Okay here’s your exercise for today. Write a descriptive outline of where you want to be in one year from today. Then write a descriptive outline of where you want your life to be in three years. It helps to do so with a pen and paper rather than on your computer because writing helps to activate the areas of the brain that store memories using visual imagery. Studies find people consistently overestimate where they will be in one year but underestimate where they will be in three years. What does this mean? It means you can set your goals for three years to be bigger than you imagine to be possible! Write everything you want to see, experience, and be and write in as much detail as you can.
Write your goals using the expression “I am”. This helps your brain see and accept this as a command and a reality. Our brains want us to be right. It’s a rewarding experience and feeling of safety when we are right about something which is one reason so many people get emotionally vested in arguing on social media. So when we make “I am” statements our brain seeks out information and opportunities in our daily lives to help our life match up with our “I am” proclamations.
For example; In one year I am running my own business selling my creative works online and making $100,000 a year income. In one year I am living with someone who loves me and supports me in being the best me and we enjoy traveling together to beautiful places. In one year I am sitting on the beach enjoying the sound of the crashing waves and reading a good book while my two healthy happy kids safely play in the sand nearby. In one year I am completely debt free and have a great relationship with money. Now keep going! Keep writing. The more you write the more you activate the Reticular Activating system.
As you do this exercise you might narrate it in your own mind if you’re not in place you can comfortably speak out loud. You could for example say “I am opening an envelope, it contains my test results and I have aced the test again!” Or “I am relaxed and comfortable and confident when I enter the boss’s office to ask for a raise…” The brain works with stories and stories are often the basis of what we think of as our reality and our brain works to help our life fit our stories of the way we believe life works. So anchor your mind and body in a positive story of your success! Do this frequently and have fun with it. Positive emotions charge your brain’s reticulated activating system helping you power your focus towards your goals.