Mindset Determines How Well You Reach Your GoalsSep 24, 2021
Mindset Determines How Well You Reach Your Goals
By Melissa Crews
If you want to reach your goals, you should start with your mind first. Goal setting is a tool that we can use to reach a desired outcome. For many however, completing goals becomes a challenge. One of the main reasons why individuals do not complete intended goals is because of poor mindset preparation. Your mindset is directly related to how well you will achieve your goals. A study completed in the field of sport psychology and mental preparation, showed that “mindset preparation aims to raise performance by fostering empowering beliefs and attitudes that complement physical prowess and skill” (Abraham, K.J., 2018). This supports the idea that goals can be achieved with the right mental preparation strategies that elicit self-efficacy toward the intended goal. That’s where a mindset makeover and growth mindset come in.
A Mindset Makeover Can Help You Achieve Greater Success.
A “mindset makeover” is changing your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs around the goals you have planned for yourself. It is a means to consciously rethink your thoughts to work for you and not against you. Take a second to think of a recent goal that you wanted to accomplish but you did not stick to. Why do you think this happened? Now think about your mentality. What attitudes, feelings, and beliefs did you have towards the goal from the beginning? Did you truly believe you could accomplish the goal? If not, why? Could it be that your mindset sabotaged your efforts from the beginning due to negative thinking?
If you think about the thoughts that you have surrounding your goal, whether it is to lose weight or to write a book, how you think about this goal leads to a feeling, that leads to an action. For example, if you tell yourself “I don’t know if I can write this book, it makes me feel nervous” (a thought and a feeling). This is the part where your mindset makeover must kick in. You must consciously tell yourself “I can do this”! Going back to the book example, you have several choices to take based on your thoughts you are telling yourself. The choices are choice A, to give up or choice B, to shift your mindset and replace negative thoughts with empowering thoughts that will move you towards completing the goal. Both choices are actions that you get to choose. Expect that you will feel uncomfortable when trying to reach your goal but accept it. It is in the uncomfortable zone that you will learn and grow.
Leave the Fixed Mindset Behind, Say Hello to the Growth Mindset
Identifying whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset is another method you can use to help you reach your goals. Stanford University Psychologist Carol Dweck is known for her research in fixed vs growth mindset. Dweck states that “in a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, or simply fixed traits and that talent alone creates success-without effort” (Dweck, 2016). People with a fixed mindset tend to see things as an “all or nothing” attitude. They tend to stay in their comfort zone, give up easily, ignore constructive criticism, and don’t allow themselves to grow because they do not challenge their beliefs and these individuals run from their fears. They believe that if they couldn’t do it from the start, they can never do it.
According to Dweck, with the growth mindset “people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work”. Thus, these people welcome opportunities for growth and do not let fear overtake them. They realize that to move further ahead, they must continually work towards growing and learning. They also realize that the process may feel uncomfortable, but they embrace the feeling as an opportunity for growth and continue to move towards their goals. What type of mindset are you fostering? Is it a fixed or a growth mindset?
Actionable Steps to Master Your Mind
To be successful in goal setting, you must be willing to take the steps to identify your mindset surrounding the goal. Here are actionable steps you can take to Master Your Mindset and to reach your goals.
The first step towards mastering your mindset is to create a mindset intervention strategy.
Next, assess your self-efficacy towards the goal you want to accomplish. “Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation” (Bandura, 1977).
Then become aware of the thoughts and feelings you have towards that goal and consistently remind yourself that you can accomplish it.
Replace any negative thoughts with positive supportive statements.
Action step: grab a notebook and give it a try. Think of a goal you are working on. Write down all the thoughts you have around this goal that can be holding you back. Take a note of common limiting beliefs such as fear. Replace those statements with new supportive thoughts. Rinse and repeat this process and eventually it will get easier.
Another way to help you master your mindset is to remember that a successful mindset allows opportunities for growth. This means you must be willing to learn, you must be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Action step: next time you are faced with a new opportunity expect that you will feel uncomfortable, acknowledge the feeling, and choose to go for it. Your mind can work for you or against you; the choice is yours. It will take effort but through dedication and continuous effort you can change your mindset to reach your goals.
One of the best methods to master your mindset is to find a mentor who can help you through the process. A mentor can help you identify your obstacles and ways to overcome those obstacles. They can also help keep you accountable and give you advice. There are dozens of mentors who can help you, but WIFA (Women in Fitness Association) is a great program that gives you access to mentors who are also in the fitness industry. These ladies know their stuff, why not give it a try.
Action step: take time to write down potential mentors and reach out to them.
Are you open to receiving constructive criticism? Do you have an “all or nothing attitude”? What limiting beliefs/empowering beliefs do you have? What can you change to make your beliefs more supportive? Goal setting is an easy process but completing those goals is not always an easy task. If you have found that you struggle with meeting your goals, take some time to utilize the strategies in this article. You will find that with continued effort and persistence, your mindset will change to supportive thoughts that will help you towards meeting your intended goals. Remember the key towards any desired outcome is persistence and small action steps. Eventually you will get better, and the mental work needed to complete your goals will become effortless.