Mindset Matters: Tips for a Mindset Make-Over
Our mindset matters. This year, I was uniquely reminded of that as we experienced what I refer to as the year of the “busted Christmas”. Our family celebration with our children and grandchildren was cancelled – first due weather, and then illness. We took down a rather sad looking tree that still had presents wrapped and waiting for our grandkids to (eventually) enjoy.
But really our Christmas wasn’t busted. We eventually got together with my daughter (just a week later) and had a wonderful time. By February we still haven’t gotten to be with our son and family because of the arrival of a new grandbaby (not pictured!).
Since we didn’t spend our Christmas with our “normal” traditions with family we had an opportunity for a different kind Christmas experience. We got to spend Christmas with dear friends, and then have lots of quiet time – something we’ve never done before.
Developing A New Mindset
Most people think of the beginning of a new year as a fresh start. An opportunity to set new goals and change your behavior. Nice idea – but don’t fall for it. When it comes to making a fresh start, it isn’t about a date or place. It’s about changing your mindset.
If you’ve ever been to a gym in the first week of January, you’ve witnessed the great migration of new year resolution makers. You’ve probably also seen that crowd thin by mid-February, and then be pretty much back to the same numbers by March.
It’s not about setting the goal. It’s about your mindset around your goal. If you don’t change your thinking, you won’t change your habits.
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
We like what’s comfortable. Part of the challenge of changing our mindset to be open to new things and stick with them is that we are creatures of habit and will naturally lean toward what’s comfortable. A nice Netflix binge sounds way comfier than a run. That’s why you have to repeat things more than once and make them a habit – even when you don’t feel like it.
Here are a few tips to give a try for a growth mindset make-over. Pick one, then practice it until it becomes a habit.
1. Change your words
Practice choosing words that a take you from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. By making the use positive effects simple language change, you’ll start to switch from a set or “fixed” mindset to retraining your brain to see problems and change as an opportunity for growth. Examples:
Instead of this language, Try this:
I can’t do it. I’m on the right track.
I made a mistake. Mistakes help me learn.
This is too hard. This may take some effort!
I give up. Let me try a different way.
2. Use positive affirmations
Write down words of encouragement and put them where you can see them. “You’ve got this” – “No pain, no gain” – “Time for a stretch!” — can help keep a positive attitude about yourself. Smile when you see them. That will help you stay in a positive and growth mindset.
3. Be grateful
Practice daily gratitude to remind you of everything going well in your life and set the tone for the day. Start making gratitude a habit. Your success in this area will be a game changer for your overall mindset.
4. Reset when necessary
Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up or talk down to yourself. If you lose momentum or find yourself straying back to your comfort zone, stay positive, visit your affirmations, and give yourself some grace. Start each day/hour fresh. Talk nice to yourself and be kind. It will make all the difference.
5. Find an accountability buddy
You don’t have to conquer your mindset alone. It’s a lot easier to make an effort to show up or do something if you have a partner who is doing the same, counting on you, and is there to support you on good days and bad. Reach out to a friend or someone with a similar goal.
I have an accountability buddy that I get on a Zoom call with every other week to share successes, challenges, and goals with. We encourage each other and help each other to stay on track. It’s made a huge difference for me in developing long-term habits and mindset changes.
6. Focus on your long-term vision
Look beyond today and visualize the long-term future you want for yourself. What do you see after you shift your mindset, do the thing, or meet the goal? Make a vision board, write it in a journal in detail, or just start each day reminding yourself of your long-term vision for yourself.
Once you change your mindset, then the real changes in your life happen.