Rock Your New Year-Tip #2
Tip # 2 for Rocking Your New Year is to CHECK YOUR THOUGHT LIFE!! The best plans and intentions will fail if your thought life is not on board. It’s all about mindset. You can have a daily calendar laid out, your gear all prepped for goal achievement, and want to tank full but if you aren’t prepared to defend against the stinkin’ thinkin’ when it comes it will sink your ship. We all have negative thoughts that bubble up, it is knowing how to deal with them that determines whether they are tiny bumps or tidal waves that take us down. So, today I am going to share with you 3 of the most common thinking errors that people experience that interfere with goal achievement.
- All-or-nothing thinking. Also called Black-and-White thinking. You know this thinking error is happening when you only see two possible outcomes. Perfect or failure, every day or not at all, 100% or 0 %. In this thinking there is no room for gray and in that there is no room for error. If there is no room for error, then there is no room for growth. All or nothing thinking is the main culprit in those situations where you miss a day or slip up in what you said you would do so you decide that you’ve failed, and you may as well give up.
- We defend against all thinking errors by challenging them with alternative evidence. So, challenge all-or nothing thinking by asking yourself is there any possible option between the two I am seeing? What are all the other possible outcomes or options in this situation. If there are any more than 2 than there is gray area. Considering the other options helps us get away from hyper-focusing on the one of two that we are aiming for and gives us flexibility and room to breathe in or efforts towards our goals.
- Emotional Reasoning. Here is a hard truth. Feelings are not facts and they are not dictators. Feelings are feelings and should be indicators. We were created to have them, and they are valid and good, but they should not be confused with facts. Emotional reasoning often sounds like “I can’t do this” “I’m feeling too ____ to do this” or “I don’t feel like doing it”. These are not facts. If I challenged you to look at whether it is true that you LITERALLY cannot do it or whether you have ever succeeded at anything in your entire life you would probably see that just because you feel incapable or you don’t feel like doing it in this moment, neither of these are facts that say that you certainly cannot succeed. Emotional reasoning leads us to let feelings drive the bus rather than logic, facts, and reasoning.
- Defend against Emotional Reasoning by separating out what is a feeling and what is a fact. Write two columns on a piece of paper Facts vs. Feelings. Then put what you are thinking into the correct column. Simply recognizing what is fact and what is feeling can help us stop emotional reasoning and act on facts rather than feelings.
- Others-blaming. This is exactly what it sounds like. Others blaming is happening when we are assigning blame to everyone else for why we can’t do what we said we would do. Usually, we’re using others as the reason we are giving up. Now, I understand why we do this. It is a lot easier to put blame on someone else than to take responsibility ourselves. However, this never helps us succeed. If you are finding yourself thinking that you can’t do the goal you set out to accomplish because your kids ___ or your husband ___ or your job ___ then it is time to take back responsibility for your goal and your life.
- Defend against Others-blaming by first validating that yes, that situation is happening. So yes, your spouse does work late and that makes it hard for you to get to the gym at a set time every day. Or yes, your children are young, and it makes it hard for you to practice mindful meditations every day. Yes, your job is demanding, and you do just want to come home and binge watch The Real Housewives when you get home at night rather than doing your daily thought journal. Yes, that situation involving someone else is valid and understandable. HOWEVER, now you identify where you can take the reins of responsibility. So, yes, your spouse works late…. however, you can get up in the morning before they leave for work and exercise for 15 minutes at home in the living room. Yes, your children are young…. however, you can practice a 5-minute mindful meditation while they are taking a nap, watching their favorite show, or after they go to bed at night. Yes, your job is demanding, however does it feed your mind, soul, and body more to binge-watch reality TV or to take 2 minutes to journal what you thought and felt that day. Defend against others-blaming by taking the reins of responsibility back for your life.
One final tip on mastering the mindset of achieving goals is to disconnect yourself from the outcome. I heard this on a podcast recently and could not shout AMEN! loud enough. So often we give up on our goals because every step is so tightly connected to the long-term outcome. On the daily, focus less on the long-term outcome and more on why you are choosing those steps TODAY. You wrote it down and set a time-frame now just be in the day to day and commit to that.
I hope you have found Tip # 2 for how to Rock Your New Year helpful! Feel free to share this for any others that may benefit. Join me next week for Tip # 3 that is all about reward.