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  • Writer's pictureMelanie

Mindset matters!

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Why mindset is the key to achieving your wellness goals.


Heart with quote of If you can dream it you can do it

Your mindset, or the way you think and perceive your goals, can make or break your success. It is the foundation upon which you make decisions, build your habits and take action to overcome obstacles. In this blog, we will delve deep into the importance of mindset when achieving health goals and explore strategies to cultivate a positive and resilient mindset for lasting success.


Before we dive into the significance of mindset in achieving health goals, it's essential to understand what mindset really is. In simple terms, mindset refers to the beliefs and attitudes you hold about yourself, your abilities, and the world around you. These beliefs and attitudes can be broadly categorized into two types: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.


Fixed or Negative Mindset

White mug in hand with 'I can't even' written on it

A fixed mindset is characterized by the belief that your abilities and intelligence are fixed traits that cannot be changed. It can also be described as a negative mindset. People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up easily when faced with obstacles, and see effort as fruitless. In the context of health goals, someone with a fixed mindset might think, "I'll never be able to lose weight because I have bad genetics,” “I’ll never feel any better, so why even try?” or "I'm just not a fitness person; there's no point in trying." Where a fixed, negative mindset is in place, it can lead to increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression and worsening physical health.


Growth or Positive Mindset

yes you can in scrabble letters

In contrast, a growth (positive) mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. Individuals with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see effort as a path to mastery. When it comes to health goals, someone with a growth mindset might say, "I may have setbacks, but I can learn from them and keep improving," or "I can become healthier with consistent effort and commitment." Or, as my daughter used to repeat when she was learning to swim; “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!”


The Impact of Mindset on Health Goals


Now that we have a clear understanding of the two types of mindsets, let's explore how they can influence the pursuit of health goals.


Motivation and Goal Setting

Your mindset plays a crucial role in how motivated you are to set and achieve health goals. People with a growth mindset are more likely to set ambitious but achievable goals because they believe in their ability to learn and improve. They view setbacks as opportunities to learn and adjust their strategies. In contrast, individuals with a fixed mindset may set low expectations or avoid setting goals altogether, fearing failure and rejection.


Resilience and Perseverance

Health journeys are rarely linear, and setbacks are part of the process. Your mindset determines how you react to these setbacks. A growth mindset helps you bounce back from setbacks, seeing them as temporary and surmountable obstacles. On the other hand, a fixed mindset may lead to giving up after a single setback, as it reinforces the belief that success is unattainable.


Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is the belief in your ability to achieve specific tasks and goals. A growth mindset enhances self-efficacy by instilling confidence in your ability to learn and adapt. When you believe you can improve your health through effort and learning, you are more likely to take action and persist in your efforts. A fixed mindset, however, erodes self-efficacy, making you doubt your capabilities and making it difficult to take action.


Stress and Mental Health

The pursuit of health goals can be stressful, but your mindset can influence how you cope with that stress. A growth mindset encourages resilience and adaptive coping strategies, while a fixed mindset can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your health, making it even more critical to develop a growth mindset. The power of positivity should never be underestimated.


How to cultivate a Growth Mindset for Health Goals


Now that we've established the importance of a growth mindset in achieving health goals, let's explore strategies to cultivate and strengthen this mindset.


Self-Awareness

chalk board with the word possible

Start by becoming aware of your current mindset. Reflect on your beliefs and attitudes towards your health goals. Are you more inclined towards a fixed or a growth mindset? Acknowledging your current mindset is the first step towards change. Identify and challenge negative thoughts.


As Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”.


Embrace Challenges

Mug with The Adventure Begins

Challenge yourself regularly. Instead of avoiding difficult workouts or dietary changes, embrace them as opportunities for growth. Every challenge you overcome strengthens your belief in your ability to improve. Find small ways to challenge yourself each day. Maybe try a new food, go a different way to work, read a book by an author you’ve never read before. The more new things you try, the easier it becomes to develop a growth mindset and make bigger changes to improve your health and wellbeing.


Set Realistic Goals


While it's essential to set ambitious goals, they should also be realistic. Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and discourage a growth mindset. Break down your larger health goals into smaller, manageable steps. Start small and keep building. It’s no good saying that your goal is to look like Zendaya in The Greatest Showman, as this is probably unrealistic for most of us. However, if you set a goal of eating 5 or more different vegetables and walking at least 5000 steps each day, you are making progress towards your health goals, and you never know, with perseverance you too could become a trapeze artist!


Dealing with Setbacks

View setbacks as time to take stock. When you encounter obstacles or face setbacks, ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and how you can adjust your approach. Remember that even setbacks are progress in the journey of self-improvement. Often even when we have a setback, we find that we are further ahead than we were at the beginning of the journey, so all is not lost. Achieving our health goals can take time, and I can almost guarantee that it will not be a linear journey but it will be worth it.


Surround Yourself with Positivity

neon writing on brick wall

Surround yourself with a supportive and positive environment. Share your health goals with friends and family who can provide encouragement and motivation. Read and collect positive quotes. Display them where you can see them. Remember, you’ve got this! Avoid people or situations that bring you down or doubt that you can make the changes, these are people who have a negative mindset and their opinions are best ignored.


Practice Self-Compassion


Be kind to yourself. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend facing similar challenges. Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk, which can reinforce a fixed mindset. Find little ways to treat yourself when you have successes or meet a mini goal. Make these mini goals achievable so that you can keep spurring yourself on. Write down your successes and how you feel about them, then you can flick back to these when you need a bit of a boost.


Cultivating a growth mindset isn't just about achieving short-term health goals; it's about maintaining a sustainable and lifelong commitment to your well-being.


Adaptability

Life is full of changes, and your health journey will encounter its fair share of ups and downs. A growth mindset equips you with the adaptability to adjust your strategies and continue progressing, regardless of life's challenges. Just because one day didn’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean we should forget our goals, it’s about being able to wake up the next day and grasp the opportunity to give it another go.


Positive Habits

Developing positive habits is essential for long-term health. A growth mindset encourages the formation of habits that support your goals, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management techniques.


Fulfilment and Well-Being

Ultimately, a growth mindset can lead to a greater sense of fulfilment and overall well-being. When you embrace the process of self-improvement and view health as a lifelong journey, you are more likely to experience a lasting sense of accomplishment and happiness.


The importance of mindset in achieving health goals cannot be overstated. Your beliefs and attitudes play a significant role in motivating you, building resilience, and shaping your health outcomes. By cultivating a growth mindset, you empower yourself to set ambitious goals, overcome setbacks, and maintain a lifelong commitment to health and well-being. So, as you embark on your health journey, remember that your mindset can be your most potent tool for success. Embrace the power of a growth mindset, and you'll discover that achieving and sustaining your health goals is not just possible but could be better than you ever imagined!


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