Have you noticed how you can intellectually know all the practical actions you need to take to get the result you want, but you still don’t do it?
Of course! As Derek Sivers would say, “If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” But we’re not. Because you need more than information. More than just the formula.
You need the belief system that will inspire you to take consistent action towards your goals, especially when you hit the inevitable obstacles. Without the right mindset, you’ll sabotage your own progress over and over again. Fortunately, cultivating an empowering belief system is something you can get better at with practice, at least it is according to Carol Dweck’s research on having a growth mindset.
Cultivating the right mindset is a key component to getting what you want, whether that’s losing 15 pounds, running a marathon, or writing your best-selling novel. For the purpose of this post, I’ll define mindset as a collection of thought habits and beliefs that shape how you interpret and interact with the world.
Mindset Habits for Success
Here are 13 mindset habits which I see in my most successful clients, in the top performers I study, and which I strive to cultivate in myself.
- Focus on the Gain (the progress you’ve made) vs the Gap (how far you have to go). Where were you a year ago? What have you accomplished? Pat yourself on the back!
- Get back on track quickly. Goal progress is rarely linear. Sometimes you get off course. Recovery quickly. Don’t make it mean something about you. It’s just part of the journey. Just keep moving forward.
- Curate your consumption. This applies to every area of life, including the food that fuels your mind and your adventures, the media you consume, the relationships you imbibe. Everything you take in is impacting you on some level. For everything, ask is this helping me become the person I want to be or not?
- Focus on process over result. Knowing where you’re headed is important, but once you set your sights, focus your energy on the day to day actions. Like a thru-hike, progress happens one step at a time. Looking at the finish line too often can overwhelm you.
- Prioritize and optimize your energy above all else. It’s your most precious resource. Do something daily just because it feels good and restores your energy. This is a true expression of self love and it’s not woo. It literally primes your brain for more consistent positive decisions.
- Be weird. If you want an average life, do what everyone else is doing. If you want an extraordinary life, do things your way. Let go of caring what other people think and instead focus on creating the life you want.
- Clarity comes from action. You might not know the best way forward, but moving 100 mph in the wrong direction is better than staying stuck in analysis paralysis. Take action, get feedback, iterate, move forward.
- Your past is not your future. Even if you’ve tried and ‘failed’ at a goal multiple times before, use the failure as feedback of the path that doesn’t work. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
- Ask for help. None of us achieves everything alone. Getting support in your goal can help you hit goals 100x faster than you could alone, figuring it all out yourself. Before you take advice from the random guy in the internet forum, ask yourself if he has the result you’re seeking.
- Don’t wait for motivation to strike. Mood follows action, not the other way around. Act in the direction of your goals and the motivation will follow.
- Focus on getting the basics right and push back on complexity. You don’t need a more complicated diet or $200 running shoes to get the body you want. Have you mastered the basics? Are you eating mostly real food? Are you committed to 30 minutes of walking each day? Start there. Put your attention on a strong foundation.
- Commit to higher vision for yourself. You’re here to live an extraordinary life. You’re totally capable. It’ll take effort. Recommit to your vision daily and take action.
- Define the outcome clearly. It’s hard to get to where you want to go if you don’t know where that is. The brain needs a target to aim for. Be specific.
Which of these do you already embody? Which would you like to adopt? Remember that changing your mindset is a matter or repetition and practice. When you catch yourself in a limiting thought loop, pause, and re-frame the thought to some believable, yet more empowering. Little by little, you’ll upgrade your thoughts and your entire life.