Half of those reading this blog post will write some New Years’ resolutions. Only 8% of you will succeed on following through with them.
The fact is, success requires a mindset shift, not empty New Year’s promises.
As you kick off 2019, reflect on the past year and set goals for yourself, how can you ensure you’re adopting the right mindset? The key is to focus on growth, no matter what curveballs life throws at you. Don’t be afraid of change, even if it leads to failure. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by choice and through awareness about your current state of being.
When we don’t achieve what we set out to accomplish, we can have two different mindset shifts. The concept of fixed mindsets originated from Carol Dweck, a leading researcher on the topic, who wrote about her studies in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success:
“Your level of talent and potential is irrelevant if it’s trapped in a mediocre mindset.”
Most people are not held back by their ability, but rather by their mindset. Don’t believe intelligence is fixed. Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it and struggle, the more it grows.
Now that we are aware what a growth mindset is, let's discuss 5 reasons why people fail to achieve their goals. Before making new goals or a new resolution, reflect on your past attempts to make them happen. If the list is just a bunch of failed attempts, your brain is not the problem – your lack of method is.
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Change requires both hemispheres of your brain to work. You need passion to reach your goals and be an emotional fit for the journey. Mental visualization precedes physical achievement.
On the rational side, passion alone will not take us anywhere. Your visualization will turn into achievements when you have and use a clear plan that keeps you focused and drives you into action. Having measurable goals will make you more accountable and able to track your progress.
Don’t fall into this trap. Set goals that are meaningful to you. Peer pressure can steer you towards fulfilling people's expectations of how you should be. Avoid pleasing others if you want to succeed. A clear vision and ownership drive motivation.
Changing behavior is not impossible, but it doesn’t happen overnight. To sustain long-term success in every aspect of life, one must master the trait of self-discipline. Things won’t be easy, and there will be bumps in the road. The path is never linear. Take, for example, our heart rhythm; it has different waves, and the waves change at different intervals. Life is not linear. Everything is in a constant state of flux.
Self-doubt is that little voice in our head telling us that we aren’t good enough and causes us to lack confidence in our abilities. Happiness is a mental state that we desire and fear at the same time. We all wish for a perfect life and build goals to achieve the state of happiness. Self-doubt holds you hostage and keeps you from achieving a better life. Listen to your own inner dialogue and ask yourself: “Am I lifting myself up, or putting myself down?”
Success is not easy. You won’t find the road to success on Google Maps. There are no shortcuts to getting there. Real change happens from within. Stop looking for external solutions, spend time soul-searching, and initiate a mindset shift to develop self-acceptance. Become your flaws’ best friend. Accepting your weakness will allow you to double down on your strengths. Self-doubt, guilt, remorse, and frustration will chase and torment you if you don’t accept who you are.
Most people will remain in their current state unless they have a fundamental mindset shift. As you learn to adopt new behaviors, you need to let go of past ones. To grow, you must reach outside of your current comfort zone. Let's take a look at three mindset shifts that will help create a happier new you, one who has clear, actionable goals.
“Look upon your own mind as a garden. You are a gardener, and you are planting seeds (or thoughts) in your subconscious mind all day long, based on your habitual thinking. As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.” -Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” - Sheryl Sandberg
Getting negative feedback about yourself is uncomfortable and exhausting. Your instinct is to defend yourself against charges that you aren’t good enough. Most people aren’t open to criticism, and that’s okay. But if you want to achieve exponential growth in 2019, develop this mindset shift. Criticism can come from anyone – at work regarding your presentation skills, say, or at home, regarding your communication with your partner. Be open to correction and feedback.
As a new graduate nurse, I learned to value feedback from others, whether it was negative or positive, to help me constantly grow and improve my skills as a registered nurse. If you always kept doing tasks in exactly the same way, you will keep getting the same mediocre results. Repetition will help you to improve, but an outside eye to point out what you can’t see will help you achieve your goals faster.
We are living in a time of constant distraction. We’re distracted while we’re working, when we’re with friends and family, or on our commutes to work. The vast majority of people will continue to go through life this way and never experience deep focus and purpose. Our sharpest focus is on things that don’t matter and waste our potential, like binging on the newest Netflix series, partying, or spending countless hours on social media.
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” - Hal Elrod
Your mindset shift for 2019 will require you to banish the distractions and focus on learning and creating. Maybe you need a breather from social media. To become successful, you need to care about your efforts to invest in your own personal growth and development. Your level of success in any area of life – health, relationships, finances, and career – is directly correlated to your personal development.
“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.” - Ben Foley
Every human has a basic need to have a sense of belonging. Learn to listen completely to people. The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is so we can listen more. Low-quality relationships have a negative impact on every area of your life. In 2019, strengthening your communication skills and relationships will bring you great satisfaction and fulfillment in the key areas of your life.
In the great words of Tony Robbins: “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” Whether it’s networking or personal relationships, you can’t achieve the milestones on your path to success without working with people. A relationship can be a financial one, a bond with someone that helps your business or allows your clients to build trust in you. Maybe you had a frustrating work week – a healthy relationship with your spouse can help you clear your mind, and get rid of all the negativity you had.
If you treat others the way you’d like to be treated – with love and patience – you’ll receive exponentially more in return than you give. The universe works in mysterious ways; the world gives to the givers and takes from the takers.
You don’t need to wait for Monday to start your diet, or wait until January to kick off your New Years’ resolutions. Every day is a perfect opportunity to start. The sooner you start, the greater your chances of success. Your willingness to improve to is up to you. Develop a growth mindset that’ll stretch you outside your comfort zone. Take on challenges. Avoid the 5 common mistakes that make resolutions fail. Achieving a mindset shift is extremely important for 2019 – make it your number-one resolution! Be open to constructive criticism, focus on learning with minimal distractions, and create quality relationships.
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Call it intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling: if we followed it, we just might be a lot happier. Intuition is a skill we are all born with, but one we submerge in the business of modern living.