Mindset Shifts for Your Best Year Yet
January is the month of resolutions: work out, lose weight, eat healthy, drink water, get 10,000 steps, write 1,000 words, read one chapter, get up early, go to bed early, read the bible, etc. etc. etc. While those are great, we all know how poorly we tend to do with those commitments. Maybe this year it's time to focus on the mindset shifts that will actually give you lasting change. How many times have you started something new and exciting and you're going strong only to realize a few months later that you haven't kept it up? Goals and resolutions need to start with a change of mindset first, before a change of behaviour.
For an amazing year (and life), ask yourself these mindset questions:
Do I face challenges as a VICTIM or a VICTOR?
Everyone faces challenges in their life. Sometimes they are small, daily challenges; other times they are monumental, life-altering challenges. Challenges are inevitable. You can expect to face some this year.
If you want to come to the other side of each challenge quickly, and relatively unscathed, one of the biggest factors is changing your mindset. Often, you have no control over your circumstances, but you do always have control over how you think and react.
Having a victim mentality is like wearing a shackle around your ankle. You feel helpless and weak, unable to move forward. Instead of facing your problems head-on, you blame others for your current and past problems. You make excuses for yourself and even justify your behaviour. If you find yourself often feeling "stuck" and like the world is out to get you, then you likely struggle with having the mindset of a victim.
On the other hand, you can choose to change your mindset to that of a victor. You can see your challenge and even feel the pain and stress of it. You know that there are some things that are not in your control, but you choose to be at peace with it. Instead, you focus on what you can change--which is often YOU! You look to God for guidance and to give you the strength to push through the challenge.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. - John 16:33
Do I find PROBLEMS or SOLUTIONS?
In a culture where it's normal to complain and point out the flaws in everything, this mindset flaw can often go unnoticed. You can even live a decent life if you're a Debbie Downer, pessimist (no, you're not a "realist), gossip, or grump. You can have decent relationships and a decent job. But most likely you don't even enjoy what you do have. You're so busy seeing the negative side of everything in your life that you don't stop to be grateful for any of it. Your brain becomes hardwired to find the problem in everything.
When you choose to be a person who finds solutions, you begin to take control of your life and take responsibility for it. You will still see holes and flaws and imperfections in people and things around you, but instead of being a sad sack about it, you actually take initiative and do what you can to make it better. When you learn to switch your focus to betterment rather than bashing, your outlook becomes much more positive. The problems are still there, but you see them in a different light.
When you start to take responsibility for yourself and your life, God can start to work in and through you.
Do I make other people's lives BETTER or WORSE?
This question might be pretty convicting for you because you can clearly
see the damage you're doing to the people around you. Or maybe you're so self-centered that you honestly have never thought of it at all. Either way, I think this is the most important question you should ask yourself regularly.
Jackie Robinson said, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
Especially as Christians, our lives are meant to serve others. We're not meant to live for ourselves. If you want to this to be your best year yet, start focusing more on what you can be doing for other people. Love them, encourage them, support them, pray for them, be there for them.
One of the simplest things you can do in our social media saturated world, is to start using your social media presence to shine a light in a dark world. Instead of negativity, choose positivity. Instead of complaining, choose gratitude. Instead of being fake, choose to be real. Instead of perfection, choose authenticity.
We often think that our lives will be best when we focus on giving ourselves all the things that we want, but actually, it's when we start looking outward and serving others that we find the most fulfillment.