3 Tips to Change Your Mindset and Achieve Your Goals

Do you ever wonder why so many of us at the beginning of the year make these grand resolutions, whether it’s to lose weight or develop that new business plan, but then somewhere down the line something happens and you start to lose focus and get off track?

Well, it all boils down to ones ‘mindset’. Our mindset controls the things that we choose to achieve and the things that we put off. It’s easy to work towards a goal when it’s new, fresh and exciting but what about when that uphill battle starts to get tough and it’s time to ‘put in work!’ We suddenly begin to make excuses and little by little we start to maneuver off the path and right back to where we started. This is a vicious cycle of starting and stopping and in turn never truly achieving our goals.

But for those ‘resolution-breakers’ (me included) there is hope!

Here are a few tips on working towards your goal and changing your mindset:

Tip #1:

Change your perspective.

Sometimes one of the best ways to tackle a problem or situation when striving for a goal is to simply change the way we look, think, and act towards a certain situation. For instance, in my junior year of college, I was dreading taking a calculus class! Even before registering, I found myself complaining to friends about how I disliked math and how I was no good at it. This made the class unbearable because I was already going into the situation thinking that I would fail.

So one day, I decided to try something new and ‘act’ like I actually liked Math. This was quite a stretch, but I thought to myself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” I began looking at the math problems, not as hurdles but rather as ‘secret problems’ that I had to encode. Corny I know, but it worked! I challenged myself to look at the class differently and tried to understand how I could apply the techniques I learned into real life. I ended up getting a B+ in that class, all because I changed my perspective. Instead of looking at the class as some big, scary monster, I looked at it as something attainable and something that I could achieve!

Tip #2

Allow for mistakes.

Nobody is perfect, so allowing yourself to make mistakes is an essential part in achieving success with any goal. At any point, when you feel yourself drifting off track or feeling a little discouraged, remind yourself why you chose to set this goal in the first place. Let’s take the ‘eating healthier’ scenario. The goal? To lose weight and develop better eating habits. The why? To have more energy and live longer. When you feel like you hit a wall, try these tips:

  • Display useful quotes, scriptures or inspirational sayings in places where you can see them every day to keep you motivated (i.e. bathroom mirror, car, or phone notifications) Recite these encouraging “words of affirmation” each day aloud to yourself.
  • Create a vision board. Visually seeing your goals can be a major asset in helping to successfully achieve them.
  • Have an accountability partner. It may be useful to have a person that will hold you accountable when you began to fall back into old habits or that person to call in moments of weakness.

Tip #3

Take your time.

Remember the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Achieving your goals takes hard work, lots of effort, and time. Do not get discouraged during the journey and stay focused on your end goal. Separate your goals into short term and long term goals and then establish a deadline for achieving each goal, this will help you stay on track and bring you closer to achieving your goal.

We want to hear from you! What goals have you set for yourself in 2017? What tips and suggestions do you have for achieving them?

Shannan Burrell

Campus Contributor

Shannan Dione Burrell was born in Heidelberg, Germany. Growing up, she thrived in the areas of performing arts, participating in dance, theater, and music. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, in 2010 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Film and Video at American University, Washington D.C., where she is scheduled to graduate May of 2017. Shannan has always had a passion for volunteering and helping others within her community. She has been an active member of her church Emmanuel AME Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Throughout her years at Emmanuel, she has participated in numerous ministries including the Praise Dance Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. Shannan grew up a member of the Girl Scouts of America organization. Her 12 years as a Girl Scout prepared her to become an effective volunteer within the community and a role model for young women. Shannan is currently volunteering with the Best Kids mentoring program in Washington, D.C., which specializes in mentoring inner city youth and foster children. Shannan also has a passion and vison for storytelling through media. She has over 10 years of experience within the media field, which includes numerous internships with companies including Arena Stage Theater in Washington D.C., The Ft. Belvoir Eagle Newspaper in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, Clear Channel Communications in Rockville, Maryland and Gannett/USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Her many years of experience have prompted her to write, direct, and produce over 15 original productions for her church and community. Shannan’s mentors and role models are that of her family, church family, and fellow aspiring African American women in the media field such as Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, who have worked at paving the way for minority storytellers within the entertainment industry. Shannan hopes one day to open up a production company for minorities, which will inspire, motivate, and empower them to follow their passions through the arts. Shannan’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” She credits this verse for inspiring her to overcome all obstacles within her life and to work hard to succeed and excel at being a good role model for young women within her church and community.

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