Success in any area in life requires the right attitude and mindset. After all, as Henry Ford famously said, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!”
So get these 12 tips to get your head in the game to #BEYOURBEST in 2023 by flexing your mind muscle. Follow these 12 tips to build the grit, resilience and mental fortitude you need for an unflappable mindset.
#1. Set a (realistic) goal
Setting goals gives us purpose and direction in life, but it is important to set the right goals if you want to succeed.
Any goal should be relevant and attainable, so ask yourself the following questions to set the right objective for 2023:
- Why did you choose that goal?
- Why do you want to achieve this goal?
- How much do you really want or need to achieve this goal?
- What will happen if you don’t achieve your goal?
- Am I making this harder than it needs to be?
- How will your efforts to attain this goal fit into your current lifestyle and situation?
- Do you have sufficient time to dedicate to achieving the goal in the timeframe you’ve set out?
Ultimately, achieving a goal you actually want to accomplish by doing something you enjoy will set you up for success.
Finding your ‘why’ – your intrinsic motivator – will carry you through difficult days or through those times when your motivation levels dip.
When defining your ‘why’, ask yourself, “what drives me? What is my greatest desire?” Purpose gives us energy and focus and the perseverance needed to grind through challenging periods.
Visualisation is a powerful tool that can help get you into the right frame of mind and align your thoughts with your actions.
For instance, when researchers tested free-throw shooting accuracy among basketball players, the players who practised using both visualisation and physically shooting baskets performed better than the group that only shot hoops
This study confirms the power of the mind and the impact that your mental imagery has on your success, because every time you imagine yourself completing a task, you programme your mind to believe in an outcome.
#4. Choose to be optimistic
Did you know that you have the power to change your outlook on life and your mindset?
Learned optimism is a concept popularised by psychologist Martin Seligman. It suggests we can change our attitude and behaviours by recognising and challenging our negative self-talk.
We can then shift our explanation style from pessimism, which frames failure or challenging times as permanent, pervasive and caused by us, to a more optimistic style that views challenges or failure as transient or temporary and attributes them to external factors. And optimistic people don’t let issues in one area of their life impact everything else.
When we work towards a goal or overcome a challenge, we need ample doses of grit and resilience to get us over the line.
Grit relates to how we doggedly chase after our goals, making sure we tick off every task in the project or nail every training session, giving it 100% each time. Resilience means picking ourselves up and getting back on track when we falter, which inevitably happens.
Ultimately, grit is what drives you to succeed in the face of adversity, while resilience is the oil that lubricates your engine to keep you moving forward.
And the good news is that we can develop and hone grit and resilience. Angela Duckworth, a behavioural psychologist who authored the New York Times bestseller, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, developed various tools to increase our ‘grit score’. These include:
- Find an activity that interests you and are passionate about.
- Practise (or train) consistently and deliberately (have an aim for every session).
- Find a higher purpose in what you do, like following a healthy lifestyle to be a better parent for your children or set a good example for them.
- Cultivate hope through a positive mindset.
#6. Practise mindfulness and meditation
Meditation or mindfulness practises are powerful tools that can help calm your mind to gain better control of your thoughts, emotions and feelings.
Your mind is constantly thinking, planning or worrying about the future. Your thoughts can also drift back to past events as you relive them in your mind. These patterns can make it difficult to focus on the present moment and what you need to do now, and can cause stress and anxiousness.
Learning to recognise these thoughts and let them go through meditation or mindfulness can help make you more productive, happier and more relaxed.
When people tell you to make healthy living or exercise part of your lifestyle, they are basically suggesting that you create systems in your life that will help you achieve your goal.
While setting a goal is an important first step to give you direction, it is the system you implement – what you do every day – that will help you achieve your objective.
And perhaps more importantly, crafting these systems will create and sustain the beneficial habits that will form the foundation of your new lifestyle. When this happens, you start to focus your efforts on the process, rather than fixating on an outcome, which generally requires motivation and willpower – two finite mental resources.
Our brain requires various nutrients and premium fuel to function optimally. And the burgeoning field of nutritional psychiatry continues to find correlations between what we eat and how we feel, behave and function in everyday life.
According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, the brain needs “complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water to remain healthy.”
Avoiding overly processed foods, saturated and manufactured fats, and products that contain refined sugar can also help to improve brain function and enhance your mood.
You can also support your mind in the same way you support your body with quality supplements.
Nootropic products, like Biogen Mental Lift™, contain a combination of key ingredients that can help to naturally boost cognitive performance, enhance your mood and improve sleep quality.
In addition, the right formulation can help to elevate your executive functioning, memory, processing speed, creativity, reasoning, focus, concentration and motivation, particularly during periods of heightened stress and anxiety.
You can also calm the body and mind, promote restful and restorative sleep, and manage the stress we all experience as part of daily life with products like Biogen Mental Reset and Biogen Stress Relief.
A harsh reality we all need to square with is that most people eat with their eyes, not with their stomachs.
Making an effort to eat mindfully could offer a better alternative to restrictive dieting. This practise is about being present when you eat, and noting your body’s hunger and satiety cues to determine when to stop eating.
Focusing on what you’re eating and the process itself by eliminating distractions, slowing down when eating and paying attention to how the food tastes and feels also creates a more pleasurable and rewarding experience.
More importantly, getting in touch with your hunger cues will help limit the mindless snacking that typically leads to weight gain or hampers weight loss.
Some light exercise and movement very day, even if it is your rest day, is a great tool to cope with life’s daily stresses.
Getting active by doing some stretching, mobility drills, yoga or simply going for a walk – especially outdoors in nature – can help calm the nervous system and releases feel-good hormones called endorphins that help improve your mood.
When combined with regular exercise, physical activity can also make you more resilient and better able to manage everyday stress.
#12. Take time to unplug and recharge
We all live hectic hyper-connected, on-the-go lifestyles but you cannot function at a frenetic pace all the time. Your mind, just like your body, needs rest to recover, reset and perform at its best.
It is important to make time every week to engage in activities that require little cognitive effort to recharge your mind. Engaging in easy, low-intensity exercise, getting a massage, spending time outdoors in nature and taking weekend naps are great ways to reset both body and mind.