New Year, New Mindset!
What is the one thing that you want most for yourself in 2021?
Better question?... What was standing in your way from getting that one thing in 2020?
Raise your hand if you can answer YES to any of the following statements:
If any of these sound familiar, you are not alone. I think everyone faces one or more of these at different times throughout their life. First, if this is you… it is not a bad thing, and it is GREAT that you know that about yourself.
Accepting yourself, flaws and all, as you are is the first step to crazy fast personal growth. The reason for this is that people who judge themselves or fail to see themselves realistically have to come to terms with tons of deflecting and painful emotions before they can begin to move forward. However, if you accept yourself, as is, you start from this place of reality and choose only to work through your own crap instead of denying it or adding to it by judging yourself for it.
Even blame can deflect from growth. Take 2020 for example, Covid 19 undeniably caused many people serious problems to deal with. It would be easy to blame the corona virus for not getting closer to our goals but what does that really achieve?
The act of blaming covid becomes a personal injury, something holding you back. It has been officially labelled by your brain and will therefore be allowed to continue to hold you back as long as it remains part of your life.
Those people who thrived during this pandemic were those people who said, “Yes, covid 19 sucks… but how can I make the most of this reality AS IS?”
Start with reality, accept it fully and respectfully as truth, whether good or bad is irrelevant. Then, move forward from there. That is the only direction to move.
Complaining about your reality, blaming something or someone else to excuse reality, or powering through and pretending reality doesn’t exist are all options. However, none of them will change the fact that this is reality.
The other day a good friend of mine called and said they were going through a rough time emotionally. She went on to tell me how she had been working with a specialist who suggested starting a gratitude journal to pull her out from her funk.
I immediately told her that was the absolute worst thing that could do in that moment.
Now before you completely think I’m crazy, allow me to explain. I am a huge fan of using gratitude to help you learn to enjoy life more. I know the science behind thinking positive and being grateful and its effects on your psyche. Using gratitude and learning to be grateful in everything is a wonderful tool.
However, using gratitude to escape a funk or depression is not going to work. It actually works against you and invites that funk back later even stronger.
The reason for this is the gratitude acts like a band-aid and masks a symptom. Being in an attitude of gratitude for all that is going right, does not solve the issue of what is going wrong that caused that funk to begin with. As soon as reality, again, rears it’s head the pain of what is really plaguing you will come back again and it will hit you harder because it has not been dealt with.
It would be the same as you getting a severe cut on your leg that starts to get infected because you haven’t treated it. Instead, you are focusing on making sure your outfit looks amazing to distract you from the pain of your leg. Your leg will continue to worsen even if you manage to temporarily distract yourself with other things that are not painful.
Your emotions work the same way. You must deal with them and work to understand them, not focus on the good things and hope you can fool yourself into staying distracted… This does not work.
2021 is fast approaching, and we all have a choice to make.
Will we set back and let life happen to us? Because it will, 2020 proved that it will happen to us without our input or opinions. Or will you determine that in 2021 you will adopt an attitude of endlessly improving? Because, if you do… That will happen too. Not even you will stop you anymore with that perspective driving your choices.
Endless improvement means you never have to reach goals that may or may not be unrealistic, so you will never again judge yourself for failing to do more than you did.
It also means that you will follow through far more often. Why? Because you don’t have to complete anything. The goal is only to get a little closer and this is far less scary so we do it more often.
Constant improvement means that you no longer need to be afraid to succeed. Your goal is not to succeed, only to improve. You are not afraid to improve therefore the fear diminishes substantially.
Consistent and growing self improvement will mean that you work hard to learn about yourself and what you like, don’t like, and how and why you work most effectively. Practicing this attitude and learning so much about where your own personal lines are will help you to know exactly when to say NO when you need to. Understanding yourself to this extent will enable you to say NO kindly, and in just the right way that no one can blame you or take offense. It is organic. You, saying NO when you need to, allows space for others to tell you NO when they need to, when they are respecting their own boundaries. It is a brilliant exchange.
So stop creating excuses, I mean goals… Goals, finalities, results, success, etc, only add to the pressure of getting to where you want to be.
If you create goals, understand their limits. Never set out to achieve them, only set out to reach towards them. Eventually you will reach them and the achievement will be all the more satisfying! It will feel more like the icing on the cake than the deflated balloon that was the pressure you put on yourself getting there.
My New Year’s resolution is to be a better me today than I was yesterday, every day of 2021. In this goal I cannot go wrong. There is no failure in this goal, only forward momentum.
Be careful to create your goals in ways that there is no lose in them. For example, instead of saying this year I want to lose 30 pounds by walking/running daily by December 31, 2021 (which is a SMART Goal, if you are familiar with those), say everyday this year I want to be as healthy as possible.
This is easier to achieve, it’s less pressure than the smart goal and there is no way you can fail… every day is a new beginning in this goal. If you actively achieve this goal 30 days of the entire year then you have achieved your goal of becoming the healthiest that you can this year. The truth is, if you could have had the willpower to work at this goal 300 plus days this year you would have. Since you did not, this is your reality. You could not do more than you could do. It is a win that you were consistently striving for better, no need to feel bad about reality.
There are those who might disagree with this system but I speak from experience, this works like magic. I have been on the journey of putting these practices into my own life for the last several years. In 2020 I really upped my game on this idea of doing better today than yesterday. Nothing stops me anymore. I don’t allow it to, I don’t have to get there, just have to get closer. This year has giving me more wins than I ever thought possible in one year. And I’m not stopping here!
Here I come 2021… Let’s do this!
Happy New Year! I know you will make 2021 the best year yet.