Have you slipped into a new routine lately? Maybe you automatically do something and don’t realize it until much later. This is called being on autopilot, and many of us experience it—especially during the summer months.

While being on autopilot can prevent you from wasting energy on reoccurring tasks, it may also be the reason you miss out on new opportunities. When you sail through your day without deeper introspection about why you’re doing something, you don’t set yourself up for growth.

Jason Forrest, CEO and chief culture officer at FPG, says the key isn’t to turn off your autopilot mode-the key is to actively program it so when your unconscious mental processor kicks in, it guides you to the growth-minded behaviors you want it to. We discuss Forrest’s ways to reengage in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Identify your primary question. What’s your purpose for each day? What do you want to accomplish? Forrest suggests clearly defining the highest primary purpose for each day and building your primary questions from there. Then you can slowly weed out tasks and behaviors that don’t align with that primary question.

Find your “why” to reprogram your autopilot. Forrest believes that when you put a “why” behind everything you do, you’re able to see the impact and importance of your actions. Why is mastering your primary question important to you? Why will this question be your fuel for success? Why do you need your focus on this question in order to improve your life?

Put your primary question into action. When you focus on your primary question every single day, it becomes your autopilot. Everything you do each day should circle back to this question. If you feel yourself being pulled off task, your primary question kicks in and you start automatically searching for a road back. When you actively program your actions to connect with your purpose, your autopilot kicks in and steers you back on track.

Commit and be consistent. Forrest notes that your primary question is only valuable if it’s used intentionally and consistently. This requires a total new way of thinking-you need to commit to seeing every one of your tasks through the lens of your primary question, which will allow your brain to go into autopilot mode when something doesn’t go as planned. Instead of panicking about an opportunity falling through or a stumble in your day, your brain will be trained to resort to autopilot mode to keep you moving forward.

You can train your brain to kick into autopilot mode to help you achieve your goals and course correct your path without even thinking about it. When you start programming your own sensors to work for you, not against you, your autopilot will never steer you wrong.

Source: Jason Forrest is CEO and chief culture officer at FPG. He is the author of five books, chairman of the National Speakers Association, an executive coach and a leading authority in culture change programs.