Change Your Mind, Reach Your Goals

Visualizing and writing down your goals is a great step in creating your future, but that isn’t always enough.  Without a positive mindset and the drive to achieve your goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  Creating a positive mindset will enable you to see the best in situations, and will drive you to not give up on your goals and dreams.

5 Ways to Create a Positive Mindset and Reach Your Health Goals

  1. Practice Positive Self-Talk

 If a friend of yours approached you feeling discouraged about their life, how would you respond?  The encouraging response you would give your friend is the same type of response you should give yourself when you’re feeling down.  Your thoughts have a big influence on your life, which is why practicing positive self-talk is so important.

There will be missteps and days when you fall short of your goals.  These are the times when you need your positive self-talk more than ever.  Be your own positive reinforcement, and feel proud of all of your achievements.

  1. Keep Track of Your Progress

You might easily get frustrated if you haven’t lost the amount of weight you want to lose yet, or maybe you aren’t seeing the fitness results you hoped to see at this stage.  Keeping track of your progress is helpful during the times when you feel discouraged.  Tracking your health journey from day one will make it much easier to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished.  Examples include: getting stronger or developing more stamina, making better eating choices, or creating healthier thought patterns.

When you lack motivation, pull out these records and celebrate everything you’ve been through, and how far you’ve come.  Celebrate the small victories and accomplishments, and try not to get too focused on small setbacks.  There will be difficult days and times when you don’t feel you’ve achieved much, but every step you take is progress.

It’s also important to remember your big picture goal, which is to get healthier.  Nothing happens instantly, it takes hard work and persistence.

  1. Practice Positive Thinking

You might have heard of affirmations before.  These are sayings that you tell yourself either out loud or in your mind.  Creating positive affirmations that you can repeat to yourself in the morning, throughout the day, or before bed at night can program your mind to be more positive.  An example of a positive health affirmation would be, “I am a strong, healthy, and beautiful woman”.  Your affirmations can be your goals too.  Focusing on these positive thoughts will work to bring them into existence.

Another way to practice positive thinking is to create visual inspiration.  This can be in the form of a vision board, positive sayings posted in places you look at daily, or a journal.  Creating a vision board with your health goals will encourage your progress, and is especially useful for those of us that are more visual learners.  Posting up inspirational quotes can also be a form of encouragement.  The bathroom mirror is one great place for this.  Keeping a journal is a helpful way to write down both your achievements and struggles.  This can also serve as a form of therapy.

  1. There’s No Such Thing as Failure

When setting up your health goals, it’s important to realize that you will likely run into obstacles along the way.  These obstacles should never be looked at as a failure, but as learning experiences guiding you in the right direction.  Your goals might even change as you navigate through life, and it’s important to be open to these constructive changes.

By utilizing a positive mindset from the beginning, you are setting your expectations high, but also be aware that things don’t always go according to plan.  Being able to adjust to changing circumstances and new found knowledge is a huge part of being successful in both your health goals and in life.

Carol S. Dweck, PhD, a psychology professor at Stanford University talks about two different types of mindsets people tend to adapt to:

  • A “fixed mindset” is the belief that your qualities or talents can’t be changed.
  • A “growth mindset” is the belief that you can always develop more.

By choosing to have a growth mindset, you choose to be optimistic even when things don’t go as planned.  This mindset will be extremely helpful in your quest to get healthy.

  1. Take Care of Yourself, Too

This might not seem like a big deal, but taking time out to take care of yourself is a huge part of reaching your health goals.  If you don’t take time out for yourself, then you will create “burn out”.  Burn out is when you’ve overextended yourself to the point of being forced to quit or take a break.

Women especially can find themselves taking care of others while trying to balance a busy work life.  Throw in trying to stay active and eat right, and things can get overwhelming at times.  Making time for yourself and giving yourself grace is essential.

Taking care of yourself can look different for everyone.  Examples include getting a massage, going to the salon, reading a book, or even just taking a “you” day.  Whatever it is that you consider to be healing, make sure to prioritize it just as much as everything else.

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