By By Daniel G. Amen, MD

Are you having trouble sticking with The Daniel Plan? Don’t beat yourself up. The Daniel Plan is designed to help you rewire your brain so you can get thinner, smarter, and happier. But don’t expect it to be as easy as flipping a switch.

Did you know that your brain is hardwired to resist change? The human brain likes to conserve energy and doing the same-old same-old doesn’t require as much energy as trying something new and different. No wonder it can be so hard to change lifelong habits!

Be patient. It takes time to overwrite old neural pathways with new ones. But you can do it! The Daniel Plan is here to help you along the way. Here are 7 tips to help retrain your brain so you can continue making progress.

    1. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you have come to the decision that you want to make changes in your life, you probably want them to happen NOW! But after nearly 30 years of helping patients navigate the change process, I have learned that taking a gradual approach is the surest way to success.

      So many people try to change all at once, but this almost inevitably invites disappointment and failure. You don’t have to change dozens of behaviors at once. Start with a few vital behaviors—the ones that will have the biggest immediate impact—and go from there.

    2. Believe you can do it. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will never achieve your goals. Lean on others in your small group for support and encouragement. When others believe in you, it can help you learn to believe in yourself.
    3. Focus on your successes. Rather than dwelling on the habits you haven’t managed to change yet, focus on the positive steps you have made. Are you drinking more water? Terrific! Are you eating more veggies? Excellent! Are you walking with your small group? Fantastic! Celebrating even the smallest successes can help keep you motivated.

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