How creating positive patterns can affect EVERYTHING

So, let’s start by answering the question, what is a positive pattern?

Picture this…..

So, the alarm goes off, you wake up and get up at a good time, leaving yourself enough time to do all those things you like to do and should do before you leave for work, giving yourself the best chance of having a good day.

If you constantly do that, every day, that is a “positive pattern”

Here's the the interesting thing, the more positive patterns you have, the more positive patterns seem to be created!

There seems to be a link, I do not yet know if there is a known area of our brain responsible for this, I suspect its not known at this stage, but I also suspect in the future it will be found.

So how do we build positive patterns? Well, let’s look at what a positive pattern actually is?

In our brain, we create neural pathways, we’ve done it since birth. Actually babies are born with more neural pathways than we have as adults.

Here is an example of a Neural pathway or “pattern” So around the age of about 4, a boy across the road from where I lived showed me how to tie my shoe laces, I even remember his name, so thanks again Nigel!

This act of repetition built a neural pathway or “pattern” within my brain, and I still have exactly the same technique as he taught me some 50 years ago!

That is an example of a very simple pattern, a neural pathway, one that has served me well!

I use the analogy of Ski Tracks, a cross country ski racer, the skier at the front, lays down a groove in the snow with his ski’s, he has the toughest job, then those following him ski in his “groves” deepening and strengthening them, making it easier for those following. Looking at those groves is like looking at neural pathways (patterns) that are created in our brains when we repeat an action over and over again, its becomes easier and more natural to use.

Ok, how can we begin to develop more good patterns?

Here is an example of a negative pattern and then an example of creating a new positive pattern

So, you know that you should be exercising regularly right? (I also run a gym to so I’ve seen this for well over 20 years)

Here’s a negative pattern at play….

So you want to get fit, you're all enthusiastic and ready to go!

Day 1.

You join the gym and immediately do too much in the first session, pushing yourself hard for an hour or two, you're exhausted, then you finish and go home.

Day 2.

Back at the gym, more tired than the day before, then you do (reluctantly) an hour, then go home.

Already the old negative pattern starts to say, ‘hey, you could be at home with your feet up watching tv with a nice glass of something in your hand, you know you deserve it, its been a tough day!

Day 3.

“Doms” sets in! (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) this is from trying too hard on the first day. Basically, your sore! You really have to push yourself to get into the gym, on the way, at least 5 times that old negative pattern has said, “don’t bother, have a rest, you can start again next week!“ So you arrive (very reluctantly) do 30 min of walking and go home.

Day 4.

That old negative pattern is so strong (after all you’re tired, sore, got things to do and “can always start again on Monday!”) so you take a different route home. So you can avoid going past the gym right?

Week 2.

“I’ll start again next week” yeh, right?

Negative pattern wins :(

Heres how to create a positive pattern….

Day 1. Monday

You visualise 30min of simple exercise, maybe two or 3 pieces of equipment.

You join the gym, you complete the simple goal above (ok so you may not get that buzz of the 1 or 2 hour tough session, but….

We are not concerned about the quality of the workout, we want to build a PATTERN

Day 2. Tuesday

After work, before you leave for home, you do a 10 minuet power walk. Ok so this is not going to be big improvement in your fitness but it WILL add to that positive PATTERN the brain says to itself “well, that’s easy” and the negative pattern that wants you to quit because its easier to do so REMAINS SILENT! There’s not really anything for it to tempt you with, after all its just a 10min walk!

Day 3. Wednesday

You’re driving to the the gym, you get a call from your spouse, one of the kids is sick, the dog just chewed the dining room table, and ate a sock, and they really need help! Stuff happens doesn’t it?

So you go home to help, you workout its missed BUT you do 15 minuets of stretching after the drama is over, continuing to support that positive PATTERN spouse is happier too!

While all this is happening, that old negative pattern is becoming weaker, the old negative tracks are filing up with snow! The neural pathways that are the old pattern are becoming weaker.

Day 4. Thursday

You’ve visualised 20min of exercise (as the week progresses, its natural to feel a bit more tired, so accept that) Btw, weekends really help recharge batteries. So you’ve got to the gym and wow, without realising it, you’ve easily done 30min of exercise! Goal exceeded.

Day 5. Friday

Another 15 min power walk, some light stretches at the end. Again, that old negative pattern can’t run, it has nothing to tempt you with, plus the new positive PATTERN is getting stronger too!

Sat / Sun

One 15 minute “breath walk” first thing each day, it really gets your body and mind firing.

Reward yourself, some planned R&R, a nice breakfast etc. We humans need healthy rewards, its part of our DNA, it helps the positive pattern to plan the reward.

Positive pattern wins! :)

Week 2

This week, you’re feeling that little bit fitter, that old negative pattern is weakening and that new positive pattern is strengthening. At this stage its very important to know that the old negative pattern is still very much around, it wants to exist! The new pattern is still in its infancy, it has to be nurtured, grown and developed. So continuing to set easy goals, and to work with the “curve balls” that life throws at us, like the one that was thrown in Day 3 last week is so important.

Each week, nurturing, focusing on and developing this new positive pattern means that by week 4 or 5 it will be the the DOMINANT PATTERN

And here is the bonus….

Once this new positive Pattern is fully established, creating other positive patterns becomes EASIER!

You don’t have to wait til Monday!


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