I promised to do a post on how to improve one’s mindset, with the goal to have a mindset, that allows us to improve ourselves, out of a habit. And for that to happen, we first need to do the most difficult shift: We need leave our passive mindset behind and start forming an active one.
Let me first clarify one thing: A mindset can actively be changed, but it is like changing a habit. Changing the way you think, requires time and patience and a lot of work. But the nice thing is, that the moment we take action, we do something, that is not typical to our current mindset, so we already took the first step to an active mindset.
To avoid, changing our mindset into something that is not better than what we are entertaining now, it is advisable to first define a goal. Often that is something that emerged from our dreams and is some sort of a soft version of them. It is something that makes us truly happy. Our goal is (usually) basically happiness. If we don’t know what that is, it helps, to make a list. Not only a list of things that we do enjoy, but maybe also of the things, that we do like. For me one of the most striking ways to know that I truly enjoy doing something, is when I do not feel the need to check my phone. These things will definitely end up on the list of things that I do enjoy.
We cannot achieve our goals from one day to another. That is, why up until now, our goals were merely dreams rather than something we could take action on. In order to achieve our goals we need to divide it into smaller goals. And maybe we need to have different smaller goals in different aspects of our lives.
We need to add dates to these smaller goals and then, we need to figure out, what steps we can take today, to achieve those goals. We need at least weekly when not daily goals, little steps we take towards our big goal, in order to be able to move forward. A goal that is only set for a month is too big for us to oversee. We don’t know where to start, which is, why we need to break it down.
We need to implement some sort of accountability system. That can be a to do list, a project list with dates, a habit tracker, you name it. But the important thing is, that it makes sure, that we do take action and start achieving our goals. We are way more likely to fail, if we do not write it down and are not accountable.
But with accountability comes the instance that we do achieve our weekly goals. It is important, that we acknowledge those small victories, because without them we would never reach the final goal. Yes, our success is, the sum of a million little, daily actions that got us one step closer to were we wanted to be, but that is exactly, why we need to celebrate those little things. They are the stepping stones. They are the foundation to who we want to become.
The Mindset itself
The mindset is the set of attitudes. Therefore, in this step we have a look at our intentions. It is about who we want to be on less obvious level. It is about taking control of our mind. Do we want to hate the world and everything and everyone in it? Or do we choose to give people the benefit of the doubt. Do we choose to complain about, or do we choose to fix the things that bother us? What kind of aura do we want to have? Do we want to be the person that doesn’t really care about politics, or do we have a refined opinion on it? How do we choose to treat others? How do we choose to treat ourselves?
There are big trendy attitudes like minimalism and the “cool ones”, who just do not care about anyone and anything. But we don’t need to adapt to one of those. We can create our own mindset according to the person we strive to be. Finding who we want to be is a very personal things, but usually our goals give us a good starting point, to think about who we want to be, but sometimes we also need to adjust our goals to our intentions. It is a back and forth, a journey to find balance between our intentions and our actions.
Implementing a new mindset is however tricky. It starts with awareness. We need to keep questioning, whether what we are doing matches our intentions. The next thing is to adjust the space around us. It is to take care of the exterior. That includes the space we live in, but also our desk at work, our cars, our appearance. All those things reflect back onto us and help us to become the person we want to be. A certain space reinforces certain thought patterns and the thought patterns are exactly what we want to take care of.
Then we also need to implement habits, that reinforce our mindset. We want to respect ourselves? How about we start respecting our time and stop doing things, that don’t bring us closer to our goal or that we don’t really enjoy. We could also take care of our health and start going for a run once a week. Or focus more on nutrition. Maybe we want to respect our hobbies. Maybe we want to give more importance to other people than to ourselves, so we could spend more quality time with friends and family. Maybe we want to lead a productive life, so we focus on working productively without distractions for an hour straight, every day.
The last step is to find out, why we want to become that person. Why we have chosen this particular mindset. And to envision the person we want to become. And set up reminders of that throughout our space. Find inspiration. On YouTube, Pinterest, or wherever you find your inspiration. But do not scroll mindlessly. Go on a quest for inspiration and don’t just consume, but try to bring that inspiration into your life, by putting up notes or pictures on your mirror, at your desk, your screen safer, you phone background. Because you can have chosen to become a certain person all you want, we are humans and we do have emotions. That inspiration and the why are what makes our emotions cooperate. It is what helps us not just make the decision, but enables us, to follow through. It will be what makes sure, tough times are not the usual state.
Remember that this is a journey. Our mindset does not change within a week. And maybe it turns out, that we found a mindset and tried to implement it, but it didn’t suit us. Then we have to reassess and adapt. And try again. And that is okay. We do not need to have it all figured out instantly. It will happen. But it will take some time. It has to grow first.