I have to admit starting a new year is fun. There’s just so much promise! I feel limitless and so full of potential.
And, I used to set resolutions from this space. But, like so many, by the end of the first quarter, if I even got that far . . . those resolutions were a long forgotten memory, like a distant dream I had once heard about.
Then I learned to set goals instead of resolutions. S.M.A.R.T Goals even! And, then of course, there was that sense of being hopeless as I failed to reach each goal I had set.
Each year, as I reset those goals, I promised myself that “this year would be different, this is the year that everything would change”. And, one year it did.
It was the year I finally DID something different.
I changed my mindset. And, that literally changed everything.
Talking with Cheryl Major, author of “Eat Your Blues Away” and “The Major Method”
Cheryl and I were part of a mastermind together and one day we got to talking about mindset, and food and exercise and it was such a great conversation.
The connections were everywhere!💙
That’s why I wanted to have this cross-blog conversation with her. I know from firsthand experience how much food and movement can affect your mindset. And, Cheryl’s experience and expertise in that area is mindblowing.
So over the next few posts we’re going to have a cross-blog conversation about mindset and how it affects your life . . . and how food and movement affects your mindset. They work hand-in-hand.
So let’s start at the beginning . . .
How do you define mindset?
You hear a lot about mindset these days, and how important it is to your wellbeing. So let’s talk about it . . . what is a mindset?
To put it simply, mindset is the self-perceptions and beliefs you have about yourself and your place in the world. It literally determines your outlook on life, your mental attitude and your overall behavior.
What I learned from personal experience is that by learning to adapt and shift your mindset, you can actually improve every part of your life. You can decrease stress, rebuild your health, and learn how to flow with and even conquer the challenges life throws at you.
And, you can become the best version of yourself . . . the you, that’s always been there, but scared to step out of the shadows. The you that can achieve your wildest dreams.
How your mindset helps or hurts you
I never gave too much thought to conversations about mindset in the past. Let alone wondered how my personal mindset might be hurting me, or able to help me.
When people spoke about it, the whole idea just felt like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Like those magical elixirs traveling salesman would sell from their painted wagons on TV.
It promised to cure everything. But it was always just bottled tonic water all along.
So when I didn’t achieve a goal I’d set for myself, I always figured it was because I didn’t work hard enough at it. That I wasn’t good enough to do what was needed, or that I didn’t deserve it.
It never occurred to me, that maybe, just maybe, my mindset was the problem. . .
Now-a-days when I set a goal I generally meet it. Period. And, that’s largely because I set goals differently and my mindset is set to support me in achieving them.
“How,” You might ask, “how exactly, does it do that . . .?”
And, that’s where it all gets a little “woo-woo” and folks like me used to tune out. But, if you’ll stick with me here for a moment, I promise there’s a real point here, maybe even a little science too.
I have a friend who likes to say “Your mind is not your friend” And, he’s right. It’s not your friend . . . but it can be a really useful tool when you use it correctly.
There’s this great movie trilogy that came out back in 1999 and the early 2000’s. It’s called the “Matrix” Have you seen it? I highly recommend it if you haven’t.
In one scene, Neo, the hero is in the real world. And as part of the training he has to be plugged into the “fake world – the matrix.” What he has to do in the exercise is really dangerous and he asks what happens if he dies while he’s plugged in. And, Morpheus, replies that if he dies in the Matrix, even though it’s fake, he will also die in the real world.
“Your mind makes it real” he says.
And, this is what makes it such a great tool. Because it can’t actually tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t.
So you can literally use your imagination to create the world you want to live in. Then bring elements of it into your physical world and act as if it’s real. And, your mind will believe it. And, actually make it real for you.
Be careful what you ask for!
Back when I was a kid, the old folks would say “Be careful what you wish for . . . You just might get it” 🤣
Back then I would laugh and laugh, thinking well if I’m wishing for it then it would be great to actually get it. But, that’s not always true. And your mind knows that.
One of the jobs of the mind is to keep you safe. It does that by protecting you from dangerous situations. And, it often does that by interpreting things like change, unknown, undesirable and unpleasant situations as dangerous even if they aren’t really.
Now that I understand that, before I set a goal I make sure it’s something I want. Something that’s aligned with who I am and with what I believe is my purpose.
You wouldn’t believe how many goals we set in our lives that don’t meet that criteria. Think about it, how many of the goals you’ve set for this year are actually things you want, for you?
- Do you really want to start that new podcast? Or is that just the new thing everyone says you should do?
- Do you really want to get better at posting on Instagram more consistently, or would you rather poke a needle in your eye?
- Do you really want to build a successful virtual assistant business, or would you rather be playing with your dogs all day, your neighbor’s dogs, any dog?
When you have a goal that you’re not really interested in achieving your mind interprets that as a dangerous situation and protects you from accomplishing it. How . . .?
By telling you, you can’t, by browbeating you, by making you feel like it’s harder than it really is, or than you can learn how to do, and by creating distractions to keep you from moving forward.
The other job your mind has is to create your reality. It filters everything through perceptions based on your past experiences, thoughts, words and deeds to determine what is real and reacts accordingly.
So, when it’s a goal you do want to achieve and you visualize it in detail . . . paint the picture for your mind . . . include all the senses – the smells, the emotions and bring elements of it into your physical world. Your mind accepts it as real. And as safe.
The point I’m trying to make, is that making goals you actually want to reach makes them easier to reach because your mind is not fighting you the whole time.
What creates your mindset?
There are a number of factors influence and ultimately create your mindset. So whatever mindset you have, directly or indirectly comes from the total collective of your experiences; everything from your upbringing and past experiences, to your environment and even what you eat and how much you move. . . or don’t.
That’s why this cross-blog conversation with Cheryl is so important. She actually used food and movement to cure her depression and begin the journey to a positive mindset.
And that’s major. 😁
You’re not building your dreams when you’re depressed. Or when you have a crappy mindset. But you can change that.
You can change your mindset and it will change your life.
I’ll be sharing some tips on how to recognize if you need a change of mindset, and just how you can start the journey to a more positive mindset of your own in my next post.