PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and rewire your brain!

Athletes don't win races and get better at their sport by sitting on their couches, eating potato chips and thinking about winning. The ones that win are on the track, on the field, in the pool working their butts off practicing to get better. 

I wish I could give you a magic pill that will help you read faster or sprinkle good grammar dust on you to make you a better writer. But that's not the way it works.

You may think, "Well, I'm just not a good reader." Or, "I've always been really bad at math."

Get over it. And then get to work, because you can get better at subjects you you may not be so good at right now.

New research has taught us that the brain is actually plastic and can change based on new experiences.  Scientists call this Neuroplasticity, which is just a big scientific word for plastic brain. 

We now know, to achieve at any skill you must create different pathways through your brain and reshaping that plastic!. Yup, that's right. When you learn something new or work on a skill, your brain creates a pathway from those specific neurons to other neurons. As you practice, the pathways get bigger and wider. 

Photo Cred: http://www.diygenius.com/neuroplasticity-rewiring-your-brain-for-optimal-learning/

Photo Cred: http://www.diygenius.com/neuroplasticity-rewiring-your-brain-for-optimal-learning/

Photo Cred: http://www.diygenius.com/neuroplasticity-rewiring-your-brain-for-optimal-learning/

Photo Cred: http://www.diygenius.com/neuroplasticity-rewiring-your-brain-for-optimal-learning/

As you use your brain for math or reading or writing, that practice and the work is carving new pathways into your brain. Subsequently, you become good at those things!  

We can use this idea of neuroplasticity to our advantage when studying for crazy tests like ACT, SAT, GRE, & GKT, or when getting to college or starting a new job.

Create new pathways by changing your study habits. 

To get to where you want to be, you have to set the goal or expectations for yourself. Then recognize triggers that help you get there such as good study habits or tools. Then you make conscious decisions to do those things that make you better. Train your brain to feel pleasure when you practice. Reward yourself after a hard study session so your brain feels pleasure in doing the tough work. Finally, you will start to feel those pathways get bigger and observe yourself get smarter! I'm serious; it really works. Check out the pic below and use it as a guide.

This all worked for me. When I started coaching kids for ACT, many of them wanted me to train them in math. English, reading and writing has always been my thing and math was usually a challenge for me. Not to mention I hadn't done Algebra or Geometry in YEARS. But I wanted to help these students. So I started practicing and guess what? I'm awesome at ACT math now! I strengthened those pathways and got better. 

To strengthen new brain pathways, you need tools to practice.

I have created a list of free tools that can help you.  Whether you are trying to learn new skills or resurrect old skills you haven't used in a while, download the info graphic below and get started. Practice, Practice, Practice and watch things change as new pathways are carved into your brain. 

Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments!