Achieving something outstanding isn’t just down to talent and hard work. Mindset plays a huge part. But if you’re struggling with a big goal that seems – at the moment – unattainable, fear not. There are some fantastic techniques you can use to help you reset your mind, and help create the mindset that will lead to you to success. Here are some of the best approaches to try today.
Picture yourself achieving the goal
Being able to picture yourself achieving your goal goes a long way towards success. There’s actual research to back up the technique of visualisation. This study, for example, found that participants could improve their muscle strength through the power of visualise exercises in place of physical.
Your first step to achieving your goal is to create a strong mental image in your head of achieving the goal. This isn’t just about the “after” picture. For example, if you want to lose 50lbs, it’s not enough just to visualise yourself as 50lb lighter. You have to picture yourself actually achieving the goal. That means creating a clear picture in your mind of doing the work that’s required to get you there. In the case of 50lb, that means creating a strong mental image of eating healthy food and exercising your body.
Give your goal a positive name
If you clicked on this post, then you were already hooked on the phrase “big scary goal” because in your mind, that’s what you are aiming for. It’s a big goal. And it scares you. Which means on some level, that’s how your brain is handling the whole situation. Seems kind of unfair on your brain really, doesn’t it? Imagine telling a child that the book they are about to read it really difficult and they will probably struggle with it. Would it motivate them to continue? Well, some with a stubborn streak might. But for most people, seeing a goal that is too big and too challenging can put us off from trying to achieve it. We have a negative mindset from the start.
Turn this around. Relabel your goal. Give it a positive name. Make it sound great, fun, exciting. Make it sound doable. Just that little exercise of renaming a goal means you’re stopping your brain from repeatedly giving you false messages that it’s “too hard” or that “you’ll probably fail”.
Embrace your discomfort
If you haven’t exercised in a while and you go for a run, how does your body feel the day after?
My guess is, your muscles feel sore.
That’s’ discomfort. And that feeling of discomfort often makes us feel like we should stop doing the thing that’s making us feel uncomfortable.
But go back to that running example. Why do your muscles feel sore? Well, they are experiencing something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and it’s caused by your muscle fibres repairing and strengthening after that initial exercise. In other words, it’s a discomfort that is actually making you stronger.
And therein is the lesson we should all embrace when faced with a challenging goal. That feeling of discomfort tells us that we are pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and no matter what the challenge in life, it’s only when we push ourselves that we achieve change and we accomplish something.
If you don’t feel uncomfortable with your goal then chances are your goal is too easy for you.
Do something today to get you a step closer
Procrastination is the enemy of any sort of big goal you set for yourself. But one of the best ways you can help yourself get over the hurdle of starting something difficult is to take one small step to take you just that little big further. If you want to start a business, buy a domain name for $10. If you want to run a marathon, take a 10 minute jog around the block. As the old Lao Tzu quotes goes:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Create and reinforce new habits to reset your mind
Achieving something big means changing your behaviors. What you did yesterday and the day before might not have helped you get to your goal, but what you do today and tomorrow can. Reinforcing new, positive habits starts with repeating them day in, day out. The more consistent you are, the more chance you have of succeeding.
After a while, these little daily challenges or tasks stop becoming a battle, and start becoming second nature. You’re actually rewiring your entire brain when you do this, and creating new connections that help you continue with this new habit. That’s why we put our seat belt on in the car without even giving it a second though, or brush our teeth before getting into bed at night.
So think about how you can do something every day to work towards your goal. Set aside some time in the calendar every day to make it happen. And make sure the first step of that is so easy that – after a while – it will become automatic. So if you’re running, just getting into the habit of putting on your running outfit at the same time every day will really help you towards your goal.