IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MIND
Why are you not achieving your goals? With the new year upon us, it is a timely question. Supposedly, just over forty percent of Americans claim to have New Year’s resolutions, or goals, or whatever you wish to call them. Yet, many of us will find ourselves wondering what happened three months from now when we have yet to achieve those goals or have abandoned them altogether. Is it because our goals are too big and unattainable? I doubt it. There will be thousands of people across the globe that will lose more than a hundred pounds this year, run a full marathon for the first time, pay off all their debt, get promoted or establish new and healthy routines. Are these people somehow more capable than you or have better resources? The answer is a hearty no! YOU ARE AN INCREDIBLY CAPABLE, GOAL- ACHIEVING MACHINE—with the proper mindset, that is. It is time to get your thinking right, right now! You have the same 168 hours as every single person on the planet to achieve your goals this year and, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve likely set goals for yourself that, however big, are likely attainable with the proper mindset. So, let’s get to work on understanding mindset and its power in helping us achieve great things this year.
SO THE STORY GOES
The stories we tell ourselves in our mind can have a powerful impact on our worldview. I recently went through a coaching experience where I discovered how my negative storytelling, in my mind, has an incredibly predictive impact on my actions– and thus the likelihood of successful outcomes in whatever I am attempting to do. In his book “The Un-Bossy Boss”, author, speaker and executive coach Gary Magenta talks about the relationship between our inner voice, speech, and outcomes. As Gary states it, our inner voice may not express itself audibly, but it has an enormous impact on how we view ourselves and how others view us. Then, when you weave your speech together with your inner voice it becomes your story—the story you tell yourself and the story you tell others. He goes on to say that this narrative begins to take hold and becomes the underpinning of your mindset and your reality. From this foundation you see everything as either possible or impossible. (See more about Gary at www.themagentamix.com)
Knowing the impact that our story can have on outcomes, why would we waste time on thoughts and stories that could sabotage our goals? The answer, of course, is that most of us go through life without ever thinking about our thinking. An article in Newsweek magazine last year stated that the average human has more than 6,000 thoughts per day. And for most of us, we spend little time really thinking about how those thoughts are formed or how they shape our beliefs. It’s time for that to stop if you want to be successful in your outcomes. Here are a few things you can do to help with being more mindful about your thinking and controlling your story:
- Find a mantra—whether you call it a talk-track, mantra, or affirmation, be intentional about repeating a positive phrase to yourself multiple times per day, remembering that your mind turns your inner voice into a story—-positive or negative. As an example, if you repeat to yourself daily an affirmation such as, “I am committed to doing today’s tasks toward achieving my goals. I will confront and move beyond all roadblocks and will stay disciplined toward controlling my thoughts, actions and behaviors today”, you are well on your way to shaping a positive narrative and successful outcome.
- Journal your thoughts— One suggestion to getting your thinking right, right now is to take time to write down thoughts as they occur in your mind. Be honest and don’t just write down what you wish you would have said. You will likely see a pattern evolve that will help you in determining where you need to confront negative thought patterns and replace them with positive thoughts.
- Be objective— Many times, the stories we tell ourselves have absolutely no basis in fact. Objectively look at your thoughts and ask yourself if there is any evidence whatsoever that the thought is true. For instance, if you think a co-worker thinks you are not pulling your weight on a project, ask yourself what evidence there is to support that thought in your mind. Did they tell you that directly? Is the task behind schedule and you are simply worried about what they think? Could the look on their face during a conversation be a result of a personal issue they are dealing with? Being objective helps you confront negative thinking and replace it with true and positive thoughts that are helpful to your story.
DISCIPLINE TRUMPS MOTIVATION
Once we get our story right and our narrative is focused on success and positive outcomes, we still have to take actions that will help us accomplish our goals. Unfortunately, life rarely “just happens” to us. Indeed, outcomes usually follow this formula: Thoughts=Beliefs=Ideas=Actions=Outcomes. If our thoughts, beliefs, and ideas are right (our story), then our outcomes will be based on our actions.
Unfortunately, we know that motivation can fail us. Our motivation to act can be influenced by many things—the weather, our emotions, desire for comfort, sore legs, feelings of hunger, etc. And as human beings with complex minds, losing motivation can be an enormous derailer.
In his book, “Discipline equals Freedom: Field Manual”, retired Navy Seal Commander, Jocko Willink, states that motivation is temporary, discipline is forever. Summarizing his thoughts, Willink says that discipline means doing what you have to do every day. You don’t feel motivated? Okay, do it anyway. That’s discipline. And, if you do it every day consistently, regardless of how you feel or your level of motivation, your likelihood of success increases exponentially. You can find a few other tips on discipline and motivation in our blog titled Staying Motivated Amid Challenging Circumstances.
The New Year is always an exciting time! We have 365 days ahead of us to improve ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us. With a positive story and a healthy dose of discipline, I doubt any of us can be stopped. At Red Leaf, we are behind you 100%! We are so juiced about your potential this year, we are offering you a 10% discount on any product if you purchase from us at www.redleafnutrition.com and use coupon code “story” to let us know you’ve read our blog and are committed to becoming the best version of you in this new year. It’s time to get our thinking right, right now!