With today being the first day of a new month and the beginning of the final quarter of 2019, I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering where this year has gone. I’ve been reflecting a lot about this past year in relation to where I thought I’d be by this point in time, and I’ve got some work to do in order to reach my goals. I could spend hours stewing on all the different ways I’ve not measured up when it comes to building my business or my personal health goals, but I know better than to do that. Besides, I can pinpoint the one single thing that’s prevented me from reaching my goals: my mindset.
When it comes to any challenge in our lives, whether it be health, business, relationships… our mindset matters MOST in determining whether or not we’ll find success. When we get our mind right, things just seem to happen a little bit easier for us, doesn’t it?
There are so many different ways our attitude (and mindset) can impact our lives. Did you know that there is actual scientific evidence that proves the power of a positive attitude when it comes to health outcomes? It’s true! Johns Hopkins even cites a positive attitude as a component of aging well, and those with positive attitudes are much more likely to have better outcomes when faced with serious health issues like heart disease, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.
Beyond the power of positivity, simply having a can-do attitude about situations sets people apart from one another when facing certain challenges. I’ve talked about aspects of this in social media posts from time to time because I see a lot of different attitudes with the work that I do, especially as it relates to making changes to ones lifestyle to address a specific health need, and I can usually determine within a 5 minute conversation whether or not an individual will have an ‘easy’ time reaching their health goals, or if it will be a bit more challenging for them. With nutrition therapy, I always design a protocol for clients based on what their goals are in relation to their individual health assessment. These protocols typically involve making a good number of changes to a clients’ lifestyle in order to help them reach their goals, and quite honestly, it’s a LOT of work for my clients to make these changes. That’s not to say that it’s bad or really hard, but it requires a mental shift to embrace the fact that they’re going to have to do some work and make some changes along the way. (Remember, a protocol only works if you put it to work for you!) I’ve had prospective clients flat out tell me they won’t change certain aspects of their eating even though they know those eating habits aren’t good for them. I’ve also had prospective clients tell me that their intent in working with me is so that they can clean up their habits for a short period of time to alleviate health symptoms, but they plan to go back to those bad habits once their symptoms are alleviated… (THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME). To me, this shows that they aren’t mentally prepared yet to make a true commitment to themselves in order to achieve improved health.
On the flipside, I’ve had the pleasure of working with clients who are fully ready and mentally prepared to take on a challenge. I have one client right now who has had to implement the toughest protocol I’ve ever developed. For starters, she’s had to eliminate close to 40 foods that she’s highly reactive to… she’s now the most creative home chef I’ve ever heard of and has embraced this so well she’s even started her own blog to document it and share it with others! Even though her ‘diet’ is limited at the moment, instead of focusing on what she can’t have she’s focused on all the food she CAN have and appreciates how these foods make her feel. And while she’s seen huge success so far when it comes to weight loss, the biggest shift she’s experienced is in her mindset… beyond the kitchen, she’s seeing a ripple effect in other areas of her life too. She’s got a crazy stressful job and she feels she’s better suited to deal and roll with the stressors that she’s presented with every day. And instead of wanting to stress eat, she shifts her thoughts to focusing on the future and what lies ahead of her. She sets goals, achieves them, sets new goals, and keeps moving forward.
Now, given all the successes, that doesn’t mean that it’s all rainbows and unicorns everyday. This is hard work to remain in a positive mindset when surrounded by so much negativity in this world. Add to that unsupportive people or individuals who just don’t ‘get’ what it is you’re doing, things can get tough! That’s why it’s important to stay focused on your goals and remember why you started in the first place. Mindset work takes time, it’s a commitment, and something you have to train and work just like a muscle. And just like everything else in life, consistency is key to your success.
Here are some tips on how you can train yourself to have a more positive, can-do mindset!
1. Seek out the good in people, don’t assume the worst
2. Smile and laugh more
3. Practice reframing- focus on the things you have control over and not the things in which you can’t control
4. Start a gratitude practice- every day, write down the things you’re grateful for, when you train your brain to seek out the blessings in your life, the more they’ll become apparent all
5. Build resiliency- learn how to accept that change is part of life, take action on problems rather than waiting for a situation to resolve itself
6. Write down your goals and keep them in a place where you can see them every day- having a constant reminder of what you’re working toward simply keeps them top of mind and help you stay
committed to your goals, and yourself.