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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.

Dealing With Negative Emotions: 3 Solutions to Keep Your Word

Dealing with negative emotions is a universal experience.  In last week’s blog post, I wrote that,

“…you will always have to overcome some combination of the following challenging emotional states to keep your word: fatigue, discouragement, loneliness, overwhelm, doubt, nervousness, humiliation, frustration, resentment, powerlessness, anger,  feeling inadequate or imcompetent, and even jealousy of others.

The power of self-confidence and keeping your word is learning to embrace these emotional states as they come up, and accept them as appropriate and warranted given the goal that you are pursuing. If you stop trying to run away from these negative emotions,  you are already half way towards the successful completion of your goal. The power comes through pushing through those disempowering states. Even better, get excited about them! Anticipate these emotions and welcome them as part of a natural component on your path to victory.”

Here are three powerful ways to learn to embrace these negative emotions and use them to your advantage.

1-  Learn to love them.

My wife and I both love to spend time together and feel grateful that I work from home. When she goes to Paris to see her family or on her yearly girls beach trip, I go into single parent mode. One way I have been able to deal with the frustration, overwhelm and tiredness when she is away to adopt the belief that, “I love missing her.” Focusing on the positive side of missing her reminds me of why I love being with her on a day to day basis. This leads me to positive thoughts and memories and my mood changes for the better.  Very often you can take a disempowering emotion, and turn it upside down by giving it a new meaning.  That new association can then help you move past the moment and discomfort.

2-  Journal the answer to this question,

“what is there to learn from this feeling of ___________, the learning of which, will allow me to let go of it, easily and effortlessly?”

There is a reason “why” we feel disempowering emotional states but most of the time we don’t stop to ask ourselves “why.” I like to say that disempowering emotional states are indicators of where we are incongruent between our head and heart. Clearing up the conflict between what we think and how we feel, allows us to find a new belief and action to take that are more congruent.

3-  Focus on what you want to create.

Shifting your focus to “creating what you want to have” will often times push disempowering emotional states away. If you shift your focus to what you want to create by taking an action, your focus will shift to a more empowering place. If you have a hard time exercising, shift your focus to what you want to create by exercising; an energetic, healthy, vibrant body where you feel good about yourself. If you are pushing back on your taxes, shift your focus to what you want to create by completing them; a new financial future where you manage your money responsibly and reap the rewards for it. Shifting your thoughts away from what you’re feeling in the moment towards what you want to create in the future will help you work through disempowering emotions.

What are some of your strategies for dealing with negative emotions and moving forward through adversity?  Please comment below!

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