Have you ever set a new resolution, only to see it fall by the wayside soon after? You start out with great intentions about a specific change you need to make. You use will power and feel excited about finally moving in the right direction, but then suffer a gradual and painful return to your old habits. If you’ve experienced this frustration, you may benefit from making a change in your thought patterns.

Your subconscious beliefs and values power­fully influence your decisions. How can you get in there and tinker with your thoughts so that you can create the results you desire and produce sustainable success?

Taming the Subconscious Mind

Vince Poscente describes the difference between the conscious and subconscious mind with an analogy in his book, The Ant and the Elephant. Poscente teaches that the conscious (ant) mind in one second of thinking stimulates 2,000 neu­rons, while the subconscious (elephant) mind in a second of imagining stimulates four billion neurons. That’s 4,000,000,000 neurons to 2000 neurons; literally two million times more neu­rons are stimulated in the subconscious than the conscious mind in a second of mental activity. The key to changing your thinking patterns is to align your conscious, deliberate thoughts with your subconscious patterns to create congruency with the different areas of the brain.

In his book, The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz teaches that it is the structure of thought that determines behavior. When we focus on outcomes we want, we will naturally build habits to move in that direction. More than fifteen years of research has revealed five insights to a method that works as a formula for success. The words trigger the pictures that stimulate your subconscious and lead you to your vision:

1-Constant repetition is important to making changes easy. One single new thought is just not enough for most people to make lasting changes in their ability to realize their goals. Research has shown that listening to a voice recording of your intentions, combined with specific music soundtracks, can improve the time it takes to change habits.

2-The second insight is the discovery that greater results are achieved when the voice you are listening to is (surprisingly) not your own. It could be helpful to work with a partner or team member and record audio intentions for one another.

3-Extensive research in performance enhance­ment shows that creating an atmosphere of relaxed contemplation is key. This third insight can be exercised by adding the right kind of music to powerfully awaken dopamine and serotonin pathways in the limbic system, while simultaneously activating the frontal and occipital lobes with imagery. In other words, visualization enhanced by music. The concept of neuroplasticity suggests this is exactly how performance can be enhanced without even practicing your specific event.

4-Generic messages and other people’s goals are not as effective for you as your own. The fourth insight reveals that cus­tomization is key. New thought patterns are more easily adopted when they resonate with you; visual­izing your future with clarity and personalizing the details will create maximum results.

5-Interestingly, music can be a double-edged sword. We should be careful about the music we choose while attempting to establish new thought structures. Music plays a powerful role on the chords of our neurology. We’ve all sought comfort in the sadness of a love song after a break-up or listened to our favorite playlist for confidence and inspiration in the face of a challenge. This opens the door to the fifth insight: music that has previous memories and connections attached to it may actually hinder your ability to generate new visions and strategies for the future. Music is a great motivator. In the presence of the right music, lofty goals can become attain­able reality.

Many prosperous people have shared their own personal method of making changes in their thought patterns; some enjoy quiet time, oth­ers meditate, and still others claim that writing down their goals is the secret to their suc­cess. Pay attention to which method allows you to make your habit changes effortless over time. You may need to use a lot of willpower in the beginning, but the key is to align your conscious, deliberate thoughts with your subconscious patterns to create congruency with the different areas of the brain. Once this is achieved, all your new habits are carried out effortlessly.