The beginning of the year is a popular time to set New Years resolutions and goals.
You set expectations for yourself and tell yourself it's going to be the best year yet.
But then by February you're distracted, disengaged, and telling yourself what a loser you are for not sticking with it.
But what if you didn't?
What If You Had A Growth Mindset This Year?
A growth mindset doesn't mean you don't set goals for yourself or don't strive to achieve something.
It's about your mindset toward reaching those goals.
Having a growth mindset means you skip the part about telling yourself you're a loser.
It means if you fall off track, you take a moment to reflect and identify the break in the process. You'll decide if the goal needs to be modified or if you need to change your approach.
You use this as an opportunity to get feedback and keep moving forward.
This can be a lot harder than it sounds and will take a lot of practice and awareness.
Change Is Hard
Often when we try to shift our mindset we continue in the same pattern we always have until are awareness becomes fine tuned.
Having awareness about your reactions, inner dialog, and mindset have to come first before you can start making changes.
Every time you recognize that you're in a fixed mindset you have an opportunity to make a change and use a growth mindset.
Then it becomes more of a practice. You simply redirect your mindset each time it happens and it gets easier and easier.
Tips For Goal Setting
You might want to use these tips to set your goals because taking the time to plan our goals thoughtfully can help to prevent a setback.
#1 - Reflect
Think about what you accomplished last year and what you wish you could have tackled last year, but didn't for whatever reason. Write them down.
#2 - Dream
Spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish over the course of this next year. Really spend some time dreaming about everything you want to accomplish and where you want to be with your career, your relationships, where you want to live, etc.
I find it helpful to create a vision board at this stage. You can do this with poster board and magazine clippings or pics and quotes you find online. Alternatively you can also create an online version on Pinterest.
#3 - Define
Are the goals on your wish list still relevant? Will they support your efforts to get you where you want to be?
If not, then spend some time thinking about what will help you get there. Write down some of the step you need to take to get you to that dream or vision.
Get specific. You want to create SMART goals.
This may require you to break it down into smaller pieces. You may find that a goal will take you more than a year. That's okay! It doesn't mean you shouldn't start NOW.
Break it down into smaller goals that will help you get there.
#4 - Focus
Put systems in place to ensure you don't lose sight of your goals.
Set up a recurring reminder in your phone.
Write a message on your bathroom mirror.
Display your vision board prominently.
Take a pic of your vision board and use it as your background on your phone.
Write prompts in your planner/calendar to check-in with yourself.
Do you think having accountability would help you reach your health goals, but don't have a buddy?
I'm also a huge fan of layering. This means you may want to stagger your smaller goals throughout the year instead of trying to "do it all" on January 1st.
This allows you to give the right amount of focus to each goal. You may still end up working on more than one small goal at a time, but you only introduce one at a time. When you have incorporated the effort required, carved out the time, or it has become a habit, then you add another.
#5 - Evaluate
How often do you need to check the progress of your goal? Quarterly? Monthly? Weekly?
That really depends on how long you've given yourself to achieve the goal. Regardless, you want to make sure you are checking in occasionally to make sure you are on track and to ensure the goal is still relevant to you.
As life happens our goals may change and you want to recognize this asap so your efforts and energy are put to good use.
Even with a lot of focus, sometimes moving to a growth mindset can be frustrating and challenging. It takes time to form new habits and silence the negative self talk. Don't give up because it doesn't come naturally. I promise your effort will be worth it.
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