New Year’s Resolutions cannot start with the old you!

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New Year’s Resolutions cannot start with the old you!

            A new year, new (old) promises, new (old) goals, new outlook and…the same you. Ever wonder why our ne year’s resolutions are, for the most part, unmet successfully? If you look at the definition of “resolution”, you will find two interesting meanings. One states that it means you stay “firm” and “steadfast” about decisions you make. The other means “an action to solve a problem”. You see, implied in this word is both solution and mindset. It means you will have the mindset of being “firm” and unwavering in “solving” a problem. So, whatever your problems are, your New Year’s resolutions are set by you to take care of them.

            If you check for the most common resolutions people list, they would be weight loss, making more money, buying something (house…), business related, career related, family related… The problem though is that most people embark on new goals with their old selves! You have heard the expression: It if is not broke, do not fix it! Well, what if it is broke? I mean, is that not the main reason why we do not achieve our resolutions? Is it not because of who we are and how we are that opportunities are missed, and we fall short?

            Now, let me take you back to the definition, and focus on “mindset” and “solution”. These two words are so powerful and necessary for any goals you might have. You see the power of “mindset” can mean the difference between success and failure. It gives us the power to be “firm” and “resolute” in our decisions and seeing them through. Mindset, or the belief in something, will see you through your most challenging times. How you choose to view things and handle them has been shown to make differences not only in goal achieving, but in health and life in general. In a study on thousands of individuals on stress, changing the mindset that stress is a bad thing to a good thing produced not only tremendous success and achievements, but also prolonged lives and made people healthier! So, do you have the right mindset to be “resolute”?

            Solution is the second word I highlight. You see it is great that you have identified a problem. Now, looking for a solution with the same brain that might have helped create the problem can be tricky, and sometimes futile. Have you ever read the quote “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind that created them”! So, how do we change our “mind”, and the way we think and operate? This is easier said than done. It will require two main steps:

  1. Create new mindsets
  2. Practice them, repeat them, and perfect them

Okay, your questions now is how? How do we create a new mindset? Well, how about you start with understanding your current mindset. There are two kinds of mindsets: Fixed mindset and growth mindset. The fixed mindset is extremely harmful. It means you believe that something is or is not. You either are good at something or not. People with this mindset frequently fail at what they do if it is not within their comfort zone. So they seldom venture into anything and wish their lives were different and get frustrated with life and themselves. “I am not good at anything”, “I am never going to be…so why even bother trying”, “things will not work because they never do”. People with growth mindset BELIEVE that anything is possible, it just needs training and practice. No matter the task, anyone is equipped with the tools to learn solutions and apply them with practice. In a fixed mindset, failures define you. In a growth mindset, failures are opportunities for learning. The differences are huge and life altering.

Which mindset do you have? Which one SHOULD you have to achieve those elusive goals?

Here are some tips for changing your mindset into a growth one. If you already have a growth mindset, that is amazing. Keep at it and improve by exercising it, practicing it in everything you do.

  1. Learn to listen to, hear, and recognize your mindset. When you set your goals, and approach them, listen to what your mind is telling you. If it is saying things like “Are you sure this can be done? Do you really think you are up to this? You have tried this before and failed, why bother again? …” Then you have a fixed mindset…so FIX IT!
  2. Realize that your mindset does not define you, you define it!
  3. Fix your mindset by talking to yourself. If your mindset tells you “you do not have what it takes to do this”, say “I may not now, but I will study and practice because I have the tools to do so.”
  4. Practice, and never stop practicing.

Changing your mindset does not happen overnight. It is like pushing a huge bolder. At first, the effort is tremendous for very little motion. That is why many people fail. They see no immediate fruit to their actions and quit. However, keep at it and as the bolder starts to move, things become that much easier and trust me, with enough effort and time, that bolder will almost move itself. For with a growth mindset, anything is possible, especially New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy New year…