Mindset.   We’ve all heard this word & probably even used it.  But, do we really know what it means & how it works?  Let’s start with the formal definition of mindset:  fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.

The word “fixed” is why it is so hard to “change” our mindset.  It takes more than a thought, or a discussion, or a consideration.  It takes conscious intentional desire to create any kind of mindset change.  Our internal monologue goes something like this… “This means I am a bad mom.”  “This means I am dumb.”  “This means my husband doesn’t love me.”

To create change, we must foster a growth mindset.  With this mentality, you still monitor what’s going on, but your internal monologue is not about judging yourself, it’s about using positive & negative information for learning & taking action.  How can I improve?  How can I find a solution & not an excuse?  How can this become my reality?

Thoughts turn into feelings, Feelings turn into Actions, Actions turn into results!    

Now let’s tie mindset to “health.”  How many times have you decided to “start a new diet,” “eat more fruits & vegetables,” “walk 30 minutes per day,” etc?  Let’s look back at the key word “decided.”  Making this decision is only the first step.  Now we have to back up the decision with action.  Although our self talk is important & we must first make a conscious decision to make a change, we then must follow up with very specific action steps.  A thought is just a thought, it is not reality.  Your reality is based on a set of beliefs.  A belief is a story you have told yourself over & over.  As human beings, we have a right to choose.  So, make a conscious choice to re-write your story TODAY!

Definition of Insanity:  Doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result. 

If you are ready to make a change & “walk the walk,” here’s a little exercise for getting started.  Ask yourself the following question:

If nothing held you back, what would you want to accomplish within the next year?

* Write your top 10 list.  Choose one item at a time & completely focus on it.  For example:   “I would like to fit into a size 8 for my class reunion.”

* Create the action step(s) necessary:  “I will set my alarm earlier 3 days a week & walk 30 minutes before work.”  Post your statement where you can see it throughout the day.  Don’t describe your success as things you “hope” to achieve—describe them as things you will accomplish.

* GO PUBLIC!  Tell a friend or family member about your new mindset & tell them why it’s important to you.  Tell them when you plan to reach this goal & how you plan to accomplish it.  By “going public,” you create accountability in your mind.  Now other people know what you’re thinking & it helps turn your thought into a reality.

Remember, positive thoughts are the first step.  But, to get results, action must follow…or you’re right back where you were.  “If it’s important to you, you will find a WAY!  If it’s not, you will find an EXCUSE!”  Live intentionally, not accidentally.   When you determine what you want your future to be, you have decided to grow—to live—not just exist!  Change must exist for a healthier tomorrow!

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha

 

written by:  Nicole Kimmel, Ph.D.