How to Improve Your Mindset and Achieve Your Goals

You may not realize that you already have the powerful tool to achieve your goals. You can improve your mindset with 10 practical tips below.

Have you tried the best productivity hacks, but still struggling to achieve your goals? You’re not alone. I also experienced hardship and struggles in my life.

For the sake of this post, I can proudly say now that I have achieved my workout goals. My goal is to have a consistent workout routine and get lean (+-90lbs) by my end of my 20s.

I successfully manage to maintain a 2 years workout habit from 2019 (even before the pandemic lockdown) and still continue until today!

Yes, I have tried several hacks to improve my workout goals. Gladly, it works! However, I noted that the ultimate key to achieving any goal is not only about external factors.

The biggest factor comes from our internal self. That is our mindset.

Why mindset so important?

achieve your goals

In this post, I have explained the power of our thought. Our mind is built from our thoughts, where any positive or negative thoughts will impact our way of life.

The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

Carol Dweck, Mindset

At first, I didn’t realize this. Before I pick up my weights to workout, I thought that workout is useless. That’s before I hit the news that my friend is hospitalized. After I know his unhealthy lifestyle, I thought, “I don’t want to be like him. I have to improve my condition, too. I think a workout can help me to lead a healthy lifestyle”.

When I changed my mind, suddenly everything seems easy. I download a workout app, get a yoga mat, ask my partner to workout, and maintain a workout habit. At first, I only can do a 10-minute workout in the first 6 months. Now, in 2021, I can do a 30-minute workout!

So, with the right mindset, you can make yourself do anything. When you think optimistic about your life, you will feel good and energized. Vice versa, if you pessimist, you will feel bad and depressed. After all, it’s never too late to improve your mindset!

The power of belief

Most importantly, you have to believe the positive thoughts. Why? Because by believing in it, you think that is true.

When you believe a positive thought about yourself, you will feel good.

A negative thought will only impact you if you believe it. As David Burns explains it:

If you have a negative thought that you don’t believe, then it won’t upset you.

David Burns, Feeling Great

Assume that your coworkers have insulted you that you are worthless. If you believe it, you will feel bad or depressed. If you don’t, you will feel different. You might feel mad or irritated, but you don’t feel depressed. Moreover, you may be want to prove to yourself that you are worthy. That’s the difference!

Our thoughts can affect our decision, whether consciously or unconsciously. You must carefully think about your decision as every decision can lead you to a different path in your life.

“Our thoughts shape our emotions—and our emotions drive our decisions. If your thoughts are negative, your emotions will be, too, causing you to base your decisions on a negative outlook. Consequently, negative thoughts lead people to make poor decisions that can create or worsen bad situations.”

Kristen Willleumier, Biohack Your Brain

The practical tips to improve your mindset

You have every chance to improve your mindset. When talking about personal growth, it is important to train your thought. Like any habit or your body, your mind needs practice.

Part 1: Be aware of your thoughts and feelings

We think almost every second in our life, except when sleeping. Mostly your mind thinks unconsciously. When you are aware of your thoughts, it’s easier to analyze what happened inside your mind. To achieve your goals, having a good analysis of your thoughts and feeling will become handy.

1. See the facts

There is a difference between our thoughts and facts. While the fact reflects reality, our thought is not (always) reflect reality.

In short, seeing the facts can help us to be objective and gain clarity in our life.

2. Notice your thought about the facts

Our thoughts always have a slice of the subjectivity. Assume that you get $10,000 as your yearly bonus. Your mind can produce different thoughts about it–you can think whether it’s plentiful or insignificant.

Our mind creates a perception, while the fact is still intact. Notice the difference between your thought and reality!

3. Recognize the feeling arisen from the thoughts

As explained above, your thoughts produce your feelings. So, when you feel something, try to notice what were you think. Your thought may be in a form of an opinion about some facts.

Let’s continue with the case of yearly bonus above. When you think your yearly bonus is big, you will feel happy and grateful. Otherwise, if you think your bonus is not small, you will feel disappointed and irritated.

Try to write down the comparison of your thought, feeling, and facts. Once you collect some information about your stream of consciousness, you can see trends and patterns. After a while, this information can help you to find the right approach to improve your mindset.

Part 2: Challenge your thoughts

It’s common for us to cling to our thoughts since we believe it’s true. However, we already know that our thoughts are not always true.

Then, it’s time to let go of our tendency to be too attached to our thoughts.

Why do we need to do this? Because when our thoughts are always in a clash with reality, we will feel more stressed. This will hinder your personal growth journey to achieve your goals.

4. Use this word: sometimes

Change is the only permanent. That’s why it’s not appropriate when you think, “I am always failing”. Sure, you might fail once, but at another time you succeed!

When you think like that again, try to shift it into, Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed”.

5. Talk to yourself like you talk to a friend

talk with a friend

When your friends are sad, stressed, or depressed, what will you say to them? Obviously, you will not say anything hurtful or condescending to them. For instance, you will talk to them with an open heart, a cheerful manner, and a motivating attitude. So, if you can talk like that to your friend, why not doing it to yourself?

6. Ask the constructive question

When we are in doubt, we often questioning whether our decision is good or not. We are prone to negative self-talk. If we ask a negative question, it will only strengthen the negativity inside us.

If you want to reach your goals, then you should ask the right question. The right question you need to ask must be based on growth and positive thinking.

Also, the right question will help to improve your mindset. Here is some example of question to change to the constructive one:

Question that needs improvementConstructive question to ask to yourself
What if I fail?What will I learn?
How can I get others like me?How can I improve myself?
When will I succeed?What can I do now to move forward?
What if everybody hates me?What behavior should I expect from myself?
Why it happens to me?What actions I can do to fix the problem?

Part 3: See the positives

flowers

We have a negative bias. Then, to beat it, train yourself to see the positive things in your life. Seeing the positives will benefit us, as Kristen Willeumier said it:

Quite simply, every thought we have influences cognitive function… Think positive thoughts, and you will activate different hormones, neurotransmitters, and brain regions that lead to higher cognitive function, better decision-making, and a happier disposition.

Kristen Willeumier – Biohack Your Brain

7. Record your positive experiences

Yes, you might have some bad experiences, but good experiences do happen. Keeping a journal will make it easier to recall positive experiences. Pretty sure you already achieve some goals in your life, right?

8. Note your skills, strengths, and achievement

When was the last time you praise yourself for your achievement? If you have not done it, I suggest you do it now. On this activity, I suggest to do this in a note rather than think only in your head. You will realize that you have good qualities that will make you grow and achieve your goals.

Part 4: Make a habit

Improve your mindset needs real action. So, put some effort to change your mindset!

9. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness will help you to be aware of your thoughts and feeling. However, no need to do an hour of meditation to attain mindfulness. Not everyone like to meditate. Just do a mindfulness practice that doesn’t include meditation. Take a walk or seeing the sky is enough to become mindful!

10. Keep a journal

journal

Recording your positive experiences will be better with a journal. Do you know that the great Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius keeping a journal? So, if you haven’t already, let’s start now. Every day is a good day to start journaling!

Conclusion: mindset is the key to achieve your goals

To sum up, mindset is the key to achieve your goals. Change is permanent, and that includes you. So, it is possible to improve your mindset.

Yes, improving your mindset will need effort and time. However, I guarantee that the result will be worthwhile.

Hopefully, this gives you the inspiration to reach your goals. What do you find useful the most? Let us know in the comment below.

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