Ever hear the expression “practice makes perfect?” Well, it’s not true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Champion athletes often use visualization processes in which they see themselves making the perfect shot or scoring the touchdown. They visualize themselves practicing perfectly, feel the success of the moment, and thus actually carve out neural pathways for success. That makes it much easier when in the game to re-enact what was perfectly practiced mentally.

Sometimes people ask “why does it matter if I do something today that’s not in my best interest long-term, as long as it feels good and doesn’t hurt anyone?” The answer is that life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Whatever is chosen and acted upon today is your life. The choices that we make often lead to repetitive behavior; i.e., practice. If the choice of today isn’t what you want in the long run in your life, look out. You may be reinforcing what you don’t want and thus attracting more of what you don’t want.

Repetitive practice makes permanent. Whatever we rehearse over and over mentally or physically creates neural pathways in the brain, making the behavior permanent. That’s why it is important to question poor choices, to challenge ourselves to look at it as vitally important, not just a whim that doesn’t matter. In dating, people often make poor choices of partners (i.e., people who don’t love you, people who only want to use you for sex, people who are incapable of a commitment, addicts, etc.) and then wonder why they don’t feel good about themselves. That’s because you can’t escape the reality that you’re compromising your self-esteem and your values. That registers in your mind and heart and leaves a negative imprint that you are bound to feel as long as you aren’t numbing yourself with your own addictions.

The really good news is that new practice, new behavior, new visualizations create new pathways that predominate over the old ones. By practicing what you really want, you make it possible for a whole new life to unfold. You can decide in a heartbeat to live your life newly, to make new choices that are in your hightest and greatest good only, and through practicing both mentally and behaviorally, your life can dramatically change for the better. Our minds are our most powerful tool - we alone of all species have the ability to reflect on our lives and re-decide.

What are you practicing in life? Is it what you really want? If not, change it! Choose again, re-decide, set up a new kind of practice. Watch the transformation.

Author's Bio: 

Nina Atwood is the Singlescoach® and a leading dating and relationship expert with all the answers. Through her professional relationship advice, she has put many men and women back on the road to personal growth, dating success, and inevitably finding their soul mate. She is a licensed therapist and nationally known dating coach with three published self-help books on communication and love. Her expertise is regularly sought by national media. She has appeared on numerous regional television shows and hundreds of radio shows nationally. Nina's web site, www.singlescoach.com is accessed daily by thousands of single men and women seeking leading edge relationship advice. Nina's newest book, Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid, was released in January 2008. Nina Atwood takes us on an inspiring journey of self-discovery and relationship recovery in this thoroughly modern fable. Ms. Atwood teaches the reader to pin point which temptations they must learn to resist so that she can claim the happiness — and the man — that she deserves.

When she’s not busy helping people transform their relationships, Nina works with key level executives as an executive coach and trainer; she also facilitates CEO roundtable groups through Vistage International, the world’s largest CEO membership organization. Nina shares the dance of life with her Soul Partner and husband, Mark, and their three cats in Dallas, Texas.