Session #9: Mental Rehearsal


 

Habit Check In

Each week we will check in on the daily habit you have set for yourself. As you explore this new habit, take a moment to think of what you may have learned so far. What has this habit taught you about yourself?

 

Mental Rehearsal

This week our focus is moving to the habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a powerful tool we can use to change our behaviors by linking the positive feelings with what we want most.

Enjoyment is what drives our habit loops, and habits are the actions we take on a daily basis. Each of these factors play a big role in determining our quality of life. Our habits are built on what feels most pleasurable, because without pleasure our actions will not turn into long term habits.

The good news is that we have the opportunity to change which behaviors are linked to pleasure. We can exponentially increase our motivation and follow through by actively working to enjoy the making the right decision. This is one of the secrets to building healthy habits that stick. So how do we do that? With something called mental rehearsal.

Mental rehearsal is a technique used by champion athletes. Athletes imagine the game from their perspective as though they are actually competing, like a mental trial run. They “mentally rehearse” their performance by breaking it down into tiny components.

 Mental rehearsal is a technique used by champion athletes.

Research shows that physical progress can be made with this simple mental rehearsal. How does it work?

  • Helps you “practice” overcoming habituated resistance
  • Links pleasure with healthy behaviors in the brain
  • Motivates you to follow through in a way you haven’t been able to do consistently in the past

To introduce this idea, I’ve created a video that will guide you through a mental rehearsal of your own. I understand that this may be outside your comfort zone, but I encourage you to relax and give it a try!

 

 

Practicing Mental Rehearsal

This week I would like you to expand your mental practice with the Mental Rehearsal activity. The more you practice the mental rehearsal, the easier it will be to identify the moments of pleasure and use those moments as motivation. Use each practice to overcome any habituated resistance you feel and build your confidence that you can succeed.

You can find this activity here.

 

Action Step

  • Practice the Mental Rehearsal activity
  • Complete and track your habit for the next 7 days