Does Your Mindset Affect the Outcome of Your Goals?
As more research is carried out on how a person’s way of thinking impacts their lives, we begin to realize the importance of our minds. You may have brushed it off when a teacher or other mentor told you to believe in yourself, but there was some truth in their advice. Believing in yourself and thinking more positively really does help you achieve your goals. For a more thorough explanation of how your way of thinking affects weight loss and other goals you want to achieve, continue reading.
A Fixed Way of Thinking Holds You Back
Your way of thinking is either fixed or growth. Most people have a fixed way of thinking, in which they often attribute mistakes to a flaw in character. For example, if you give in to the temptation to eat brownies offered to you at work, then later that night you may think that you’re a weak person. You have just judged yourself and attacked your own character because of a moment of weakness. On another occasion, you may have told yourself “no” when you wanted a second slice of cake. But that instance was forgotten because your mind focused on the negative moment.
Be warned that a fixed way of thinking doesn’t just rear its head in a negative way. Another example of fixed thinking is telling yourself that you’re better than someone else because you resisted a donut and lost more weight than them in a week. The problem with fixed thinking is it doesn’t allow room for improvement. Fixed thinking is focused on judging, whereas growth thinking is concerned with how to improve.
Believing in Yourself
It may be a cliche but believing in yourself helps you succeed. If you believe it’s possible for you to lose weight, you’re more likely to take action. Lack of belief in your ability to lose weight causes you to feel demotivated, depressed, and lethargic. It makes you less likely to get on the treadmill, hit the gym, and prepare a healthy meal. How you feel plays a major role in the actions you take. If you’re feeling positive and motivated, you’ll probably follow through on losing weight.
Believing in yourself is important to staying positive throughout the grueling process of losing weight. However, be aware that even when you believe in yourself, sometimes you still won’t feel like jogging in the morning or eating a salad. Accept this instead of beating yourself up over times you’re lacking in motivation. Remind yourself in those moments that you CAN lose weight. Do something that will help create positive feelings toward your weight loss journey, and never lose the belief in yourself even when you make mistakes. As stated in the first section, you want a growth mindset, not a fixed way of thinking.
Positive Thinking Increases Energy and Motivation
Negative thinking often leads to self-defeating behaviours, such as emotional eating, skipping workouts, and cheating on your diet. It can be a vicious circle from there as you feel worse about yourself for making mistakes. Positive thinking, on the other hand, increases your energy and motivation. It promotes behaviours that help you accomplish your goals.
Positive thinking makes you healthier in addition to helping you achieve goals. A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that women who have an optimistic outlook on life were healthier overall. They had a significantly reduced risk of dying from cancer, stroke, heart disease, infections, and respiratory problems. One of the researchers, Eric Kim, explained, “Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”
How Can You Improve Your Way of Thinking to Achieve Your Health Goals?
You may find thinking positively, believing in yourself, and adopting a growth way of thinking difficult sometimes. Or you may be asking yourself if it’s really that simple. Here is a list of actionable tips you can implement to improve your way of thinking for losing weight and any other goal you want to accomplish:
- Spend more time with positive people. You will have an easier time thinking more positively when the people you communicate with are positive. Find a training buddy, this way you have someone to hold each other accountable and you could even make it a little bit competitive.
- Adjust your goals until you learn how to set goals that are realistic but still give you a challenge. Break your goals down into smaller goals and slowly work towards achieving the end goals. Once you get the hang of goal setting, you won’t feel disappointed over not reaching them. A mistake many people make is framing goals in a way that isn’t helpful for them or setting the goals too high.
- Change how you think about rewards and punishments. Don’t use food as a reward or exercise as a punishment. Exercise is good for your health, so you don’t want to perceive it as a punishment. Rewarding yourself with food is often damaging for weight loss goals as well.
- Remind yourself to talk to yourself as kindly as you do to your friends. Many of the negative thoughts you think about yourself you would never say to a loved one. So why would you say it to yourself? Be kind to yourself.
Although eating a healthy diet and exercise are important, a good mindset is helpful in losing weight as well. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight despite eating healthy and exercising, your way of thinking may be the missing puzzle piece. Or if you have trouble staying on track to losing weight, your way of thinking may also be what’s truly standing in the way. Once you learn how to think more positively, believe in yourself, and embrace a growth mindset to guide your to achieving your goals.