We’ve all been there before. You’ve decided to change a habit or start working towards a goal. For the first two weeks or so, you’re on fire! You keep with your plans and schedule, you’re excited to tackle each new day, and you face your new challenges head on. You’ve got motivation on lock down!
Then something changes. You realize that creating new habits and achieving your dreams takes hard work. Daily. You decide you deserve a day off…which becomes two…which becomes three…which becomes a week. After that, you only do something every few days that will help you accomplish your goal. Soon you get frustrated. That fire you had inside of you is gone and you wonder why you can’t just stay motivated.
You can’t stay motivated because motivation is more an emotion than it is a driving force. You aren’t happy all the time and you’re likely not sad 24/7. How can you expect to stay motivated all day, every day?! Motivation will help you get started, but it won’t sustain you. For that, you need a strong desire to achieve your goals and dreams.
And the right mindset.
Mind What Now?
Mindset is defined as “an established set of attitudes held by someone.” In her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” Dr. Carol Dweck identifies two main mindset categories: Fixed and Growth.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. You have it or you don’t. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—not effort.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
Mindset Over Motivation
Nobody has a growth mindset in everything all of the time. Everyone is a mixture of both. You could lean towards having a growth mindset in an area, but still have things that trigger you, allowing you to have a fixed mindset in another area. Something really challenging and outside your comfort zone can trigger this, which is exactly what you’re entering into when you decide to go after your dreams. Be on the lookout for those fixed mindset triggers and understand when we are leaning in that direction.
Work on understanding your triggers, dig into them, and over time you’ll find you’re able to stay in a growth mindset more and more. Definitely much longer than you might be able to stay motivated.