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What Is Mindset & How Do I Start Setting Goals?

What is Mindset?

A set of beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, & values which shape our behaviour causing us to make the various choices & behave in the way through life. Our mindset determines whether we adopt positive traits behaviours or negative ones. It is the main difference between the person who is able to succeed & the person who is inert & does nothing.

The mind is much like an iceberg. We see on the surface is but a tiny fraction of all that goes on underneath. The tip of the berg is the conscious mind which accounts for only about 10% of what’s going on with the other 90% being our subconscious. The subconscious mind is the result of all of our programming throughout life, every experience we have been through, every emotion we have felt, every belief we have formed about ourselves & the world & is the driver for all of our conscious actions.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

There are two main types of mindset; “Fixed” & “Growth” categorised by how people react to life’s differing challenges; “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

One of my favourite examples of a strong growth mindset is that of a Paralympian – imagine what it must take to be severely physically or mentally disabled & fight an incredible battle that most people will never fully understand to go forward to achieve feats that most able bodied people will never be able to do. Through developing their mindset, a lot of the time from a very hopeless place, into a wholly positive one is an incredible inspiration to me.

The good news is that a mindset is only fixed if it believes it is. Even if behaving & acting in a certain mindset that doesn’t serve it doesn’t necessarily mean that i t needs to be that way forever, a mindset can be changed for the better.

The great news is though that with planning & dedication we can completely change & adapt our subconscious & our brains through incredible feats of neuroplasticity. In our brains we have around 100 billion neurons (brain cells) with hundreds of trillion synapses all firing electrical signals every second. We have the ability to rewire the brain through utilising techniques that for habitual change & creating billions of neural networks in the process.

I am a living testament to this in the fact that I went from a place of being off work due to anxiety & depression to building & owning a fitness business. By doing the work on myself & successfully changing & adapting my own mindset to one that much better serves me.

How do we begin to change our mindset to one that serves us better?

I employ various powerful tools to improve my own & others mindset, of which it is always best to coach in person as every person, their situation & their challenges are completely different. The below can help to begin the process:

1. Get clear. Why do you want to change this thing? How do you stand to benefit from this & what will happen if you don’t do this?

2. Do the work – Write down 100-200 benefits to anchor to the positives of making the change. Humans always move away from pain & into pleasure. When we can see how the pleasure of the future benefits outweigh the temporary pain of doing the work the subconscious starts to anchor us in that new positive vision of ourselves.

Write down 50-100 pain points of what will happen if you don’t make this change. Attach emotions to this wherever possible. When we attach an emotion to something, we make it real. Remember – humans move away from pain & into pleasure.

3. Make a plan – what are all the components that will make your large goal happen? Break this down into sub sections & break these down even further. When we break tasks down into their smallest components they become a lot less overwhelming & a lot more achievable.

The below is a great tool for splitting down tasks into smaller steps. Plot on a calendar at the end to give yourself a deadline.

Make goals SMART Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time constrained.

For long term goals or massive tasks spilt like so

Outcome goal: Lose 10kgs in 10 weeks

Performance goal 1: Do well in my nutrition

Performance goal 2: My training

Performance goal 3: My mindset

Performance goal 1: Nutrition

Process goal 1: Follow the 80/20 rule & eat well 80% of the time, what I want for the other 20%

Process goal 2: Think 3 meals ahead so that I always have the right food in the cupboard & make the right choices.

Process goal 3: Eat protein with every meal

Performance goal 2: Training

Process goal 1: Schedule all training sessions

Process goal 2: Do my morning cardio

Process goal 3: Create amazing music playlist to keep me motivated

Performance goal 3: Mindset

Process goal 1: Read my statement of purpose & future story every day

Process goal 2: Employ self starters to live by PMA as much as possible

Process goal 3: Spend 15 minutes per day working on my mindset & schedule this in

For medium term or longer short term goals set like this.

Outcome goal:

Process goal 1:

Process goal 2:

Process goal 3:

Beware of bad goals!  “I want to lose weight” – is a BAD goal, far too generalist. What weight? How will you know when you reach the goal? If there is nothing to aim for then where is the urgency?

I want to lose 10kgs in 10 weeks is a far better goal & fully achievable.

4. Execute the plan.

5. Allow for adjustments – we need to be flexible & be able to adapt to any changes in the plan.

6. Repetition, repetition, repetition! By repeating a task we form the new neural grooves to change the subconscious & change our mindset to one that better serves.

I hope you’ve found this useful, for more information on Mindset & the subconscious follow this link to my blog post Why 90% of New Years Resolutions Do Not Suceed, The Unconscious Mind & How To Create Lasting Habitual Change:

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