Most of us have probably abandoned our New Year’s resolutions by now. However, personal improvement can happen any day of the year, and it’s never a bad time to start. If you want to grow as an entrepreneur, a leader, or just as a human, the most important place to start is with your mindset. It’s this that allows you to create truly transformative change for yourself and your life.
Set your mindset for the day right when you get up.
Talor Zamir, wellness activist and founder of the organic supplement company Peak Performance, says that setting your mindset daily as soon as you wake up can have lasting, cumulative effects.
By setting a positive mindset when you wake up, you give yourself an advantage: You’re training your brain to notice and expect good things out of your day. It’s similar to practicing gratitude, in that it actually, over time, changes your neural pathways so that you’re better able to see challenges as opportunities and to feel happy with what you have, rather than desiring what you don’t.
Zamir, who suffered from chronic pain for years before finding a wellness regimen that transformed his health, also advises people to take a morning walk if possible. It’s a good way to not only clear your head and begin your day with a fresh outlook, but also get in a bit of exercise before the day’s obligations begin piling up.
The key here, Zamir emphasizes, is to approach your day proactively, rather than reactively. By taking a proactive approach to the way you think, move, and eat throughout the day, you’ll be creating the change you want to embody.
Use the SPIRE model: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational, Emotional.
This model comes from the study of positive psychology and happiness, and has been popularized by Harvard professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. Ben-Shahar founded The Happiness Studies Academy, which offers courses in happiness studies to executives and business leaders, teachers, school staff, and others.
The SPIRE model is a method to cultivate your own positive mindset and happiness. The idea is to do one exercise in each of the categories. Here are some examples:
- Spiritual: meditation.
- Physical: walking or working out.
- Intellectual: learning something new or journaling.
- Relational: nurturing an important relationship.
- Emotional: writing a gratitude letter or keeping a gratitude journal.
This model can be a helpful reminder that it takes many different components to make us happy, healthy people, as all of us have different areas we’re more inclined to focus on.
Maybe you never skip a workout and meditate at least five times a week, but you haven’t developed a gratitude practice.
Or maybe you spend lots of time learning new things and reading interesting books, but you don’t take the time to go for a walk and be alone with your thoughts.
By remembering the SPIRE model, you’ll be able to identify where you need to put in more effort.
Set just one goal at a time.
This advice is offered by so many different coaches, business leaders, and therapists that it’s become common knowledge. And yet, many of us still spend our time creating lists of goals we want to reach, all within the same period of time.
While concrete, measurable goals are vital for moving us forward, setting too many at once can get confusing and overwhelming–even for the most practiced and achievement-driven entrepreneur.
Instead, choose a single goal and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a year-long endeavor, but it certainly can be. The important thing is that you commit to focusing on that one thing, and cut out the rest of your internal noise saying you should also be achieving X, Y, or Z.
Just like training your brain to recognize the positives will set you up for success, the ongoing practice of setting a goal and meeting it will also transform the way your brain works over time. You’ll build up your confidence, boost your feelings of self-worth, and recognize how much control you have over your life and career.
Resetting your mindset is a crucial part of any personal growth plan, but this important work is too often overlooked. By following these tips, you’ll be in a stronger position to make 2021 a great year.