Want to change or improve your life or business, but know how hard it can be? The Award Winning Changeability Podcast, Best Self-Help Podcast (UK Podcasters Awards 2015) can help. With much of our behaviour carried out on an unconscious level, this is great to keep us alive but not so great when we want to change something. The mechanisms that protect us are the mechanisms that make it hardest to change. Enter Changeability – the ability to change through managing your mind and tactics. With discussion and interviews to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business, this Award Winning Podcast looks at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics and tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality.
CA100: The Changeability Podcast past and future
The Changeability Podcast past and future We celebrate 100 episodes as we take a look at the Changeability Podcast past and future.
Here’s some of the top 3s from the past 99 episodes followed by a look at the next episode in the Changeability Podcast story.
Audience top 3 episodes The 3 favourite episodes of our audience to date. These are the shows with the highest number of downloads so far. The longer the episode’s been on iTunes or our BrilliantLivingHQ.com website or Stitcher or TuneIn the longer people have had to listen to it, so we would expect the older shows to have more downloads than newer ones and that’s reflected in these results.
Third most popular episode - ‘What is Mind Management’ Episode 6
In episode 6 of the Changeability Podcast we were thinking about our strap line phrase – ‘Mind Management’. What is mind management and what’s in it for you?
In episode 6 you found out about:
Kathryn and Julian’s acting skills (you’ve been warned) How many thoughts you have in a day Why sports people love mind management How thoughts have energy How you are not thoughts How mind management needs training Mind management can improve your personal and professional life Second most popular episode - ‘The Brilliant You’ Episode 2
Do you know how truly amazing you are? Well that’s what episode 2 is all about.
You might not always feel like a magnificent being, but by the end of this second episode you be agreeing with us that you’re pretty smart.
Because in this show we talk about just how brilliant you and your marvellous mind and what it means.
What you’re doing as you listen to the episode (really?) How you’re like an iceberg and why that’s a good thing. How many things we can focus on at a time What Julian learnt from a Memory World Champion (or rather - didn’t learn!) The role of the conscious and unconscious brain and how they manage our minds. Understanding a few basics about how your mind works, will help you understand what’s getting in the way of doing what you want and what to do about it.
Most popular episode - ‘Changeability – The Start’ Episode 1
The first episode saw us introducing ourselves and the Changeability show.
The Changeability podcast is for you if you’re interested in changing or improving something in your life or business, big or small. It’s for people like us who’re interested in finding ways to make our lives the best they can be – so we can be more successful (whatever that means to you), happy and fulfilled.
Through discussion and interviews we look at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics & tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality – to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business.
In the first episode you find out:
What is Changeability? And why should you care about it? Why is change hard? How we can self-sabotage our best intentions Why it’s not your fault - and why it’s good. Our story and what we’ve learnt Top 3 countries We love you being here wherever you’re from – so this isn’t our favourite countries – but rather the top 3 countries with the highest number of listeners out of the 167 countries we currently have listeners in.
Third – UAE 6% Second – USA 19% First – UK 48% (And just in cast you’re interested the fourth is Australia with India in fifth place.)
Kathryn and Julian’s favourites This was so hard to choose, especially as we decided not to include any interviews in our top 3s (maybe they’re deserving of a separate post) – but here’s three each with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure.
Episode 3 – The Library in your brain Episode 19 - Why use affirmations to manage your mind? Episode 31 – 5 mind management techniques for changing your life. Julian’s favourites
Episode 43 – What is mindf
CA099: Habits willpower and motivation
“Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts. They are strengthened by an increase in the number of repeated acts. Habits are also weakened or broken, and contrary habits are formed by the repetition of contrary acts.” ― Mortimer J. Adler
Habits are an intrinsic part of who we are and how we function. Habits are fundamental to how we think and behave, which makes them key to how we live our lives and make our decisions.
The achievement of our goals and success are more the product of our daily habits than any one off transformative situation or action on our part.
Habits are a key part of mind management because;
your mind use habits like a shortcut or brain power saving device or mechanism if you manage your mind in a helpful way you can utilise the power of habits. Rather than viewing habits in a negative light as something we need to control and overcome, they become an empowering tool to enhance our lives, help us make changes and be happier. To do this we need to know which habits are good for us and to continue and critically which habits are not supporting our goals. The first step therefore is to identify a habit you want to change for a helpful, empowering, positive, healthy or wealthy habit, or a new habit you want to cultivate.
This an important step as the funny thing about habits (like limiting thoughts) is we’re not always aware of them. We have to take a deliberate step back to identify the habit or to acknowledge that thing we keep doing but would really love to change is indeed a habit – an habitual way of behaving in response to a situation or action.
Willpower Now you know the habit you want to change, is it a matter of using your willpower to change it and your motivation to keep going?
Yes and no. Yes because when it comes to habits willpower and motivation both have an important role to play but they’re not enough on there own as there are limitations to be aware of.
Willpower is the power to exercise your will. To have control over what you do and self-discipline.
But the thing about will power is you only have so much of it and when it runs out – because we’re tired or hungry or sad – it’s hard to rely on.
This is why you can wake up with good intentions and lots of willpower but by the evening it’s decidedly harder to exercise your will.
Although you can get better at exercising willpower the more we do it, your brain likes your habits so wants you to keep them.
So although willpower has a role to play in changing your habits, it can’t be relied on to do it alone. The same goes for your motivation.
Motivation Your motivation is the purpose or the ‘why’ behind what you do – in this case behind the new habit you want.
I think of motivation as having different levels or layers and each level or layer has a different strength.
Think of it as concentric circles –circles within circles like an onion.
The outer layer is your big ‘why’ or the purpose that motivates you.
Say you want to develop some health and fitness habits– the big outer layer motivation is to be healthier and fitter because it makes you feel better, gives you more energy, to get the most out of life, you look better which makes you feel better, and that makes you a better happier person in yourself and relationships.
In short the outer layer is you want to develop healthy habits because being fit and healthy feels good and makes me a happier person. That’s all very well and good but it’s hard to keep that at the forefront of our mind in everything we do – and we know that willpower will only take us so far. Especially as we move in onto the next layer.
The next layer or circle in is your situation. For example, you have a busy life, you’re looking after your house, maybe you have a family or a hectic social life or many commitments, and you’re always rushing around from one thing to the next.
Then we get to the next layer in which is your
CA098: What are habits and why they matter
What are habits and why they matter Your habits are key to who you are and the change you want.
Habits underpin what we do at Brilliant Living HQ.com and on the Changeability Podcast – mind management for your best life and business and how to make changes.
Lasting change, i.e. achieving your goals – is not the result of a one off transformation but a product of daily habits.
What do you want to achieve? What do you want to change? Whatever it is, getting it is the result of your habits. Habits play a role in what you look and feel like, in your success and relationships.
All of which makes it slightly surprising we’ve got to episode 98 of the Changeability Podcast before dedicating and episode to habits – but here we are and this is it.
So what are habits? Habits are the things we do, but also and maybe as importantly, the way we think and what we believe. They include the self-beliefs that influence what we do, our behaviour and the actions we take.
A habit is the repeated thinking and behaviours that become automatic, so we don’t mostly think about it.
We need to know how we form habits in order to change them.
Habits have certain characteristics or constituent parts that keep us doing them.
Cues, routines and rewards There’s a cue that initiates the behaviour.
A cue is a trigger, or reminder, something that triggers our thought or behaviour. Like the cue line in a play, (the line before you come in) which on hearing it reminds you to say your line, or triggers you to deliver your line.
Then comes the routine. This is the behaviour or action that the cue has triggered – and the bit we think of as the habit.
This is followed by the third part of a habit – the reward. This is the bit that is of benefit to you in some way, even though it might not actually feel like that, your brain is seeing it’s benefit. Because it’s a reward or benefit your brain wants you to repeat it and so you do until you’ve done it often enough it becomes a habit.
This forms what Charles Duhigg in ‘The Power of Habit’ and Stanford professor B.J. Hogg in ‘Tiny Habits’ call the ‘habit loop’.
Many of our everyday activities involve habits with a cue, action and reward. Here’s a few you probably repeatedly do and don’t really think about them :
Cleaning your teeth Tying your laces Riding a bike Driving - remember learning to drive and how painfully slow it was having to think of each step every time. Whereas now it’s such an ingrained habit not only do you not think of each step, sometimes you can’t even remember driving somewhere. Then there’s certain ways of behaving we get into which quickly become habits for example,
Getting in the habit of going to bed or getting up early or late. Eating certain types of food or at certain times of the day. Why do we tend to eat different things for breakfast to dinner? There’s not really any reason, it’s a habit born out of convention. Then there are the habits you think of as bad or unhelpful.
Julian bites his nails and worse! Kathryn procrastinates, gets distracted by social media and emails and eats snacks late at night. That’s just for starters... If you want proof of the power of habit – if proof were needed – just look at your pet. Our dog Dude not only knows the time of day but exactly what should be happening in his world at what time and what order. Especially when it comes to food and walks.
Why we need habits Habits help us manage our minds.
Habits save us brain power – or rather free up our brains to do exciting creative thinking.
Making habits out of the things we do repeatedly, our behaviours and actions – provides our brain with a power saving or effort saving mechanism. An automatic response requires less creativity and complexity of thinking from us.
Gretchen Rubin in her book “Better than before” sums it up nicely:
“When possible, the brain makes a behavior into a habit, which sa
CA097: Healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters
Healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters Kathryn and I first met Emma and Carla when we were attending a business entrepreneurs’ event in the Philippines. Meeting these two vivacious and fun loving entrepreneurs made a mark on both of us.
Their joy of life was infectious, and we wanted to know more about them, their journey and what they did.
Emma and Carla Papas, known as ‘The Merrymaker Sisters’ are real life sisters who went from being communication professionals to health and happiness advocates and health coaches!
They're the founders of themerrymakersisters.com where they inspire hundreds of thousands of Merrymakers around the world with real food recipes and ways to find and follow your bliss!
“If we hear ourselves say ‘we want this to happen’, we have to focus some energy on it.” - The Merrymaker Sisters
So, what better than to invite them onto episode 97 of The Changeability Podcast laugh and chat healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters.
Packed into this week’s Changeability Podcast Emma and Carla’s inspirational story from food obsessive mindsets to health and wellbeing. Find out what it means to be a ‘merrymaker’ and what it hopefully doesn’t mean! What on earth does Carla and Emma mean when they say ‘follow your bliss’ and why you should consider it? Why you are a hero of your own journey. Where to start with healthier, happier, eating habits. What makes healthy, happy food? The effects of mindful eating. Foods to give up and what we should we have more of. What is a Paleo diet? Why we need to be free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars. What gets in the way or stops you eating healthily, even when you want to? Suggestions for healthier sweet snack options when you get the munchies in the evening. And more laughter and giggling you can cram into a podcast show than is good for you. Plus, don’t miss my blooper at the end of today’s show! “Life is too short to say no to dessert. You just have to make your dessert healthy” – The Merrymaker Sisters
Links mentioned on today’s show:
Emma and Carla’s website – themerrymakersisters.com Emma and Carla’s on Instagram – warning: don’t look at this when you’re hungry; it’s yummy-lichiously addictive! Make it Merry: A Healthy Cookbook – by Emma and Carla Papas Dr John Demartini - The Values Factor or The Breakthrough Experience The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain Change your brain, Change your body – Dr Daniel G. Amen
CA096: Change your brain, revitalise your body
Change your brain, revitalise your body – really? Sound too good to be true?
We’ve been talking over the last few weeks about how to use the power of your brain to reach your ideal body weight, look younger and boost your energy.
And let’s face it, who couldn’t do with a bit of that!
As part of our wellness and wellbeing series we’ve explored Dr Daniel Amen’s book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, including 10 brain principles for the body you want and four ways to use your brain to change your weight. Today we conclude our exploration in change your brain, revitalise your body.
How your brain can help beautify your body and improve your overall health and well-being. Dr Amen puts forward 6 solutions:
1 - The Skin solution Your skin is directly tied to the health of your brain.
People spend a lot of money on skin care products and more. It’s a huge multi-million pound business. From skin-care products to laser treatment, to the plastic surgeon, but Dr Amen argues these are only temporary fixes and the real solution lies in your brain.
It’s your brain that tells your skin to produce more or less oil, supervises the production of supportive collagen and is responsible for skin regeneration; so it’s there we need to begin.
“The health of your skin is an outside reflection of the health of your brain.” – Dr Daniel G. Amen
So what’s bad for our brain (and therefore our skin)?
Well it’s the usual suspects: Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor diet, too much sugar, yo-yo dieting, inadequate water intake, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, unresolved emotional conflicts or PTSD, hormonal changes, untreated psychiatric conditions, dementia, medications, sun exposure, pollution and environmental toxins, climate.
And the solution:
Get more sleep, distress, exercise, balance your hormones, have more sex (really), limit caffeine and alcohol, quit smoking, eat a brain healthy diet (more of that next week), maintain a healthy weight, drink more water, balance your sun exposure (some sun is good for your Vitamin D) but not too much which can cause premature aging and sun spots. 20 minutes during the day after which protect yourself with sunscreen. And finally treat mental disorders and memory problems.
Plus you can take some supplements, e.g. Vitamin D, fish oil, evening primrose oil and grape seed extract (good antioxidant)
2 - The Hormone solution Did you know your hormones have a huge impact on brain function?
When your hormones are balanced you tend to feel happy and energetic.
And in contrast Dr Amen cites evidence pointing to low hormonal levels being responsible for amongst other things: low libido, depression, memory problems, midlife crises and divorce.
While high hormone levels lead to: hyper competitiveness, acne or aggression.
Once again it’s the brain that controls all the hormones in your body.
Types of hormonal imbalance include thyroid, adrenal, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone to name but a few. Different hormones require different treatments but often begin with blood tests depending on the symptoms.
3 - The Focus and Energy solution If you want more energy and focus (and frankly, who doesn’t) then you are probably prey to one or more focus and energy robbers.
These fall into different categories including; infectious causes, hormonal issues, low or erratic blood sugar states, anaemia, brain trauma, environmental toxins, inherited brain disorders, medications, chronic stress, untreated past emotional traumas and bad brain habits.
So if you find yourself wondering if your lack of focus could be something more that just being disorganised or lacking focus, it might well be. The good news is there’s lots you can do to counteract this.
The first step is to get any of those focus and energy robbers treated and at the same time develop and maintain a brain-healthy lifestyle – adequate sleep, a brain-healthy diet, exercise (4-5 times/week), a stress redu
CA095: How to use your brain to change your weight
How to use your brain to change your weight This week we’ve gone from consuming 5 course dinners every night in a lovely hotel on holiday in Wales, to thinking about weight and the brain. It’s sweetly ironic and rather timely.
As part of our mini series on health and wellbeing, this week we think about weight and if we can use our brains to help us lose weight. Today’s featured author certainly thinks so as Dr Daniel G. Amen devotes the second section of his book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, to the subject.
Last week we looked at 10 brain principles for the body you’ve always wanted. Continuing with our exploration of the link between your brain and body and how having a healthy body and making healthy decisions all starts with your brain, we turn to the subject of weight.
Weight is an aspect of our bodies that many of us want to do something about. We might want to change our weight upwards or more commonly downwards, for our health and because we think it will make us feel better about ourselves.
So what does Dr Daniel G. Amen say about this?
How can you use your brain to achieve lasting weight loss? Dr Amen, puts forward four major solutions to how to use your brain to change your weight.
1 - The Craving Solution This is about using your brain to increase your willpower and calm the urges that prevent you achieving your goals.
How often do we have a day where everything’s going well and then someone offers us a cream cake? In Dr Amen’s case it was a caramel apple which he resisted it by walking away – but why was everything in him craving it?
Essentially, there are centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control – the pre-frontal cortex in the front of your brain – and there is also a pleasure and motivation centre deep within your brain plus we also have emotional memory centres that trigger behaviour. All this comes together to influence our behaviour.
By understanding these brain circuits of willpower and control you can work towards gaining mastery of your brain and body.
It starts with our first experiences of pleasure or intense emotional experiences. These first experiences can get locked in the brain and lay down the tracks for later behaviour and addictions, because we want to replicate and repeat what led to our first pleasurable experiences.
For Dr Amen it was linked to the pleasure he associated with some of his earliest memories of making fudge with his sweet-maker grandfather.
What about you? What are your earliest memories of pleasure or intense emotional experiences?
I remember eating ‘milky way’ chocolate bars at my Grandma’s house when I got home from school and my Mother’s sherry trifles were legendry at family parties and celebrations of every kind.
For Julian the stodgy puddings of school dinners and getting enough of it after it had been passed down the table of older children first, loom large in his memory (yes he is that person that loved school dinners)!
So going back to the idea there are different centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control plus a pleasure and motivation centre, it’s the relative strength and weakness of each of these brain areas that goes a long way in determining how much control we have over ourselves and how well we are able to stick to our plans.
Regaining control of these different centres of the brain depends in part on the area in question but it generally involves balancing your brain systems. If, for example your Prefrontal Cortex is out of balance, you might need to treat any PFC problems that exist but in more general terms you can strengthen this area by:
Good sleep Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level Exercise Meditation And creating focused, written goals. All of which are designed to boost activity and blood flow to this area of the brain. (Couldn’t agree more with this and if you want to know more sign up for our Changeability Starter Ki
Quality, thought provoking ideas and discussion
This is a really practical, actionable and inspirational podcast. Thank you Julian and Kathryn for putting the tought and attention into making this show so useful!
First listen - episode 99. The guy keeps interrupting her talking. So irritating. Had to stop listening. Sorry! Pity.
Good content, but trying too hard to entertain
Illman is like an old fashioned local radio presenter. Distracting comments and weird jokes do make following this a bit of a struggle. What content there is (approx 5 mins per 30 min episode), is really interesting and potentially useful. I’m up to ep 8 so far, but am almost out of patience. The weird sound bites and slightly odd role plays, which are obviously to make it more entertaining, aren’t necessary.