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Start Out the Year with the Right Mindset

Before you even take a stab at your new year’s resolutions, make sure you have the right mindset.

I read somewhere that 93% of success comes down to your attitude rather than your natural ability. As we start a new year, there are 4 strategies that stand out in terms of starting off the year in the right foot.

1 – Recognize that you have control over your thoughts

It all starts with your mind and the quality of your thoughts. Thoughts pop up in your mind unprompted but thoughts can also be introduced into your mind. Work it from both angles. Be mindful and aware of the thoughts you have, and challenge the ones that are not helpful at moving you closer to your goals. Even if they’re accurate (ie: my boss is a jerk or I’m unhappy with my health), if they’re not helpful, don’t give those thoughts any energy.

Instead, introduce thoughts that are helpful in getting you where you want to go (ie: I can try to do x, y and z to build up my competency and move to a different position ot advance my career. Or I can get rid of the processed foods in the house.)

2 – Make an deliberate effort to notice what you do have

At the end of the day instead of focusing on not having enough time to accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish for instance, take a few minutes to focus on what you did accomplish. Consciously cultivate this glass half full attitude. You want to train your brain to see, not only what is good around you, but also what you are doing right.

3 – Make changes to thrive

Choose to invest in yourself –in your current self of course, but even more importantly in your future self. Make choices and take actions that will benefit your future self. A state of success doesn’t just happens to people. It takes choices, consistent actions and certain sacrifices often in the short term for a potential gain in the long term. Often, forgoing instant gratification will be necessary, but in doing so, you will be creating new habits and behaviors that will create positive results long term.

Don’t just make a plan; write down your goals and keep them in the forefront of your mind. Making a plan is necessary, but it’s only the starting point. It’s crucial but it’s utterly useless if you don’t execute that plan. So decide what you want and spend a small amount of time coming up with a few strategies as to HOW you’ll make it happen, but most importantly, choose to act on that plan.

Keep the planning short, and spend the majority of your time/energy taking actions that will move you forward towards your goal. Focus your energy on the journey. If those actions don’t get you closer to your goals, then you can go back to the strategy portion of the process and adjust or switch strategies. But don’t spend too much time in the planning process; it only delays you moving forward. Most people spend the majority of their time focusing on finding the right strategies. That’s a mistake. Often that’s a complete waste of time. Once you are clear on what you want, taking consistent action towards that goal is where you want to spend most of your focus and energy.

4- Learn to embrace change

Fear always present when we go to do something different and sometimes taking a pause in the midst of change is normal but you have to push through. Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks and prevent you from taking action or from investing in yourself. Don’t let the temporary discomfort that comes with change lead you to put on the breaks. When you’re face with that discomfort, lean hard into taking action, any action no matter how small or seemingly insignificant and stay away from overthinking.

After Thanksgiving Thought

Thank you to everyone who sent out their warm wishes for Thanksgiving. It is important to stop at times and remember all of the things in life that we are thankful for; friends, family, job, career, health, etc.

I was thinking about the holiday and wondered what it would be like if, in order to balance out Thanksgiving, we had a Receiving Day?

Some people have a hard time receiving the gifts offered to them and it costs them their self-confidence, personal power and self-worth.

It reminded me of the story of the little girl who was so excited and grateful that she and her daddy went out for ice cream. She got a big scoop of vanilla on a sugar cone and it was looking so good. As she stepped outside of the ice cream shop, she tripped forward and “SPLAT” went the ball of ice cream on the ground. Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked up at her daddy. But then, she noticed the sign in the window behind her daddy of a sugar cone with two and three scoops of ice cream. So, she started begging daddy to get the two and three scoop ice cream cones to replace the one she had just tipped off the cone. Did Dad go for it and get her the two or three scoop cone? No. If you can’t handle one scoop of ice cream, why would someone turn around and give you even more than you can handle?

The same principle applies with receiving.

When someone pays you a compliment, do you feel uncomfortable and do you feel automatically compelled to give that person a compliment in return? If someone offers to buy you lunch, do you start playing the “see who can sneak the credit card to the waiter first” game? If someone gives you a gift, do you feel compelled to get them a gift in return?

If the answer is yes, you might want to ask yourself whether or not it’s because you place less value and worth in yourself than the person giving you a gift. You send a signal to yourself that you are somehow a little “less than” or not as deserving as others might think. Talk about an undermining belief pattern!

In order to handle a second and third scoop, master the phrase, “Thank you.” And let it go.

That can be tricky since reciprocating is also a form of politeness, but then again, so is accepting a compliment graciously.

As often as you can, practice graciously accepting what your friends, co-workers, clients and life are offering you. Don’t be too quick to dismiss someone’s appreciation of you in an effort to appear humble.

Be a thankful and a gracious receiver.

Nothing is too small to be grateful for. Practice receiving compliments, money, and gifts this season with a simple and sincere, “Thank you.”

It may seem odd at first, but what you receive in return will be a real gift!

Thank you!!!

 

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