A2B: Using Neuroplasticity To Build Good Habits

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The A2B Newsletter aims to improve your life by taking you from Point A to Point B. Every email shares one self-improvement idea you can read in five minutes or less.

Point A

Do you have bad habits? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people feel trapped by poor habits like spending too much, eating unhealthy foods, and constant procrastination.

We all know that we should end bad habits, but that’s easier said than done. For some reason, bad habits feel impossible to break. Why is this? And, wouldn’t life be better if you could develop good habits?

Point B

Thankfully, neuroplasticity can help. When you learn about the five factors of neuroplasticity, you can build good habits and break the bad ones.

The Science

Focused thought requires a lot of energy, so your brain saves energy by automating regularly repeated behaviors. This process is known as neuroplasticity.

Your brain favors automated patterns because they use less energy. As a result, they guide much of your life. Therefore, you can improve your life by learning to automate better behaviors.

How To Automate Behaviors

The adult human brain contains roughly 86 billion neurons. Individual neurons have little significance. But, when connected in networks, neurons create neural patterns. These patterns store things like thoughts, memories, and habits.

Behaviors become automatic when neural patterns in your brain go from being weak to strong.

How To Strengthen Neural Patterns

You can strengthen your neural patterns using the five factors of neuroplasticity—alertness, focus, frequency, recency, and sleep. Here’s how.

To strengthen neural patterns, you must:

  1. Be alert
  2. Remain focused on what you are doing
  3. Perform the behavior at a regular frequency
  4. Make sure the time between repetitions is adequate.
  5. Get good quality sleep.

How To Break Bad Habits

Here’s how you can weaken your neural patterns and break bad habits.

  1. Decrease alertness.
  2. Decrease focus.
  3. Reduce or eliminate frequency.
  4. Increase or end recency.
  5. Get good quality sleep.

Want More?

My video and article on neuroplasticity are full of additional information.

The full-length versions include:

  • A deeper explanation of the science
  • A lesson on how to increase alertness, focus, frequency, recency, and sleep
  • How to overcome common problems people face when trying to automate new behaviors
  • Advice on how to prevent yourself from taking these ideas too far
  • Lots of examples and diagrams

Be sure to watch or read to learn more about how to rewire your brain.


Chris Thornham 80/20 Financial Planner
Take Control Of Your Finances

Reduce financial stress, reach financial freedom, and achieve financial goals like buying a home, paying off debt, and investing for retirement.

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