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3 Steps to Creating a Mindset for Progress

A woman sitting on a rock overlooking a valley with a winding road

For 2023 to be filled with the progress we want, we need to create a mindset that supports progress. I wrote about mindset last summer – how it’s formed and can it be changed. You might find a review of that blog helpful as a companion to this topic. - How is a Mindset Formed and Can It Be Changed?

To create a mindset for progress, let’s start by defining progress.

1) Define Progress

I personally think of progress as completing something that moves you closer to your goal, even if it's just one tiny thing. It can seem insignificant by itself, but when combined with repeated action, it becomes significant.

Two parts of the definition of progress offered in the Merriam Webster dictionary are: “a forward or onward movement (as to an objective or to a goal) and… gradual betterment."

When you consider your 2023, where do you hope to gain progress?

Achieving clarity about where we want to go helps us define progress for ourselves and makes it much easier to create a mindset that drives progress. Clarity is important around two areas – where you want to make progress and knowing what’s most important to you. For our mindset shift to work, these really need to be in alignment in both our thoughts and feelings.

Knowing Where You Want to Make Progress

I use a list of areas that I conduct vision-boarding on and help others set goals around. You don’t have to have a vision or goal for each area to complete in this year. It’s more important that you consider each area and what you want, and then select your priority focus. Those same areas can be used to determine where you want to make progress:

  • Job /Career

  • Wealth /Financial

  • Recreation

  • Physical Health

  • Relationships

  • Personal Growth /Knowledge

  • Fun /Creativity

  • Community

After reviewing this list, what are the top one to three areas you know you want to make progress in? Write down where you would like to see yourself relative to that area by the end of this year. Consider how you would feel if you achieved that level of progress.

Then write down all the actions or behaviors of a person that has achieved that vision. This is important as you revisit and create goals around this area of your life. Next, align your desire with what’s most important to you.

Knowing What’s Most Important & Why

A year ago, as part of our 10 Days to Your Best Year Ever blog series, we discussed on Day 3 that clarity around your Values and Purpose will help you focus on what’s most important to you. Read that blog post HERE.

What’s most important gives you a big “why” and motivation that will help you keep making progress. When you define the type of progress you want, ensure you also have a “why” statement to go along with it. Here are a few examples for you to consider:

Progress Desired > Why?

  • Promoted to a Leadership Role > I desire to help others and make an impact.

  • Improved Relationship with Partner/Spouse > I care for them and want to enjoy our time together more.

  • Earn a Higher Incentive > I want to provide more funds for Travel Adventures and Fun with my family.

Once you’ve defined what progress will look like for you and why you want to make that progress, you must discard the old stories that have prevented you from achieving progress in the past.

2) Discard Old Stories

One of the most challenging things we must face is the stories we tell ourselves and really inspecting if that story is reality. It’s fear that keeps us from inspecting because the really scary bit could be that it’s true. To discard old stories, we must be brave and inspect.

What are the stories you’ve told yourself as to why you can’t achieve a goal? This is where our old nemeses imposter syndrome and self-doubt start to creep in. Those stories that might look like:

“Who do you think you are?”

“Someone’s already done that”

“It takes too much time, work, etc.”

“You don’t have enough… or aren’t enough…”

You might be faced with different stories. These are mine, the ones that come up time and time again. Doing that reality check and working to discard these stories requires repeated effort on my part.

Old stories are ingrained in the fabric of who we are. They stem from countless past experiences and the deeper that experience is rooted, the more power that old story can have. We can remove the power by being honest and inspecting our thoughts.

Some of the stories might hold some truth, some will not. The important thing to remember that even if it was based on reality in the past, YOU can determine the future. You can learn from that experience and the new stronger you can emerge triumphantly.

It's YOUR Day, Make it a Masterpiece!

3) Become Disciplined

We can define success and prepare ourselves by discarding old stories so that we start with a fresh mindset as we work to make progress. The only thing preventing us from really achieving progress is our level of discipline. We will cover more on intentionality in our next blog, however this discussion on discipline is really based on the commitment we bring to continually repeat elements from step 1 and 2.

We will need to be disciplined at connecting our desires and understanding why achieving them is important. This happens in our mind before we act. It drives our thoughts and our feelings about the potential of achieving that progress.

We also need to be disciplined at continually inspecting the stories that we tell ourselves. This is not a one and done, it’s a daily discipline so that old stories are kept at bay and don’t erode at how you feel about your progress or the possibility each new day brings. Complete steps 1 & 2 and repeat daily if needed!

This is truly the year you can make progress in all you desire by working on your mindset!

Comment below by becoming a site member. We’d love your thoughts on how you create your mindset for Progress!

Want some help in defining the progress you want to make and start working out the actions you will take? Join us for our Annual Planning Event on Saturday January 21st – On Zoom or In-Person in Evansville, Indiana!

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