“What comes out of the mind is what you put in the mind.
You must feed your mind like you feed your body.”
– Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking
The new year is here, and for some of us that gives us a hope and excitement about the future and for others it feels like another year that we are worried will bring us more failure.
“Maybe my business just won’t be a success this year.”
“My kids and life are so demanding, so how can I possibly be a success in 2016?”
“I am tired of feeling down and depressed, but I just can’t seem to shake it.”
Feelings of hopelessness, despair, worry and anxiety or just feeling “stuck” is something many of us have dealt with (including me, Zach). They pretty much suck the life out of you and can turn your stomach inside out and give you a bleak outlook.
Is there anything that you can do starting right now to help turn those feelings around and make 2016 your best year ever? Well, we like to start with what we can do today, and then this week, and then 2016 will take care of itself.
which he permits to occupy his mind.”
If you are ready to change who you are for the better starting today, then you have to start by taking inventory of your (as Tim Sanders calls it) “Mind Diet.”
Your Mind Diet is is the daily intake of what you allow into your thoughts which ultimately shape the way you think and will make you into who you are. You need to look at what is being allowed into your thought life, and then adjust a few simple behaviors in order to have a more clear, positive and actionable outlook on who you will become this year.
Key #1 – Take a Mind Diet Inventory
Tim Sanders says to spend the next few weeks taking an inventory in a small journal of what goes into your mind. Everything that you read, listen to and watch should be quickly logged with the amount of time spent and categorize the Tone (positive, negative or neutral) of that event. You should also do this for people that you spend time with (friends, family and associates).
Then after you do this for a few weeks, quickly scan over the journal and circle the negative or useless information you have “consumed” and then highlight the positive information and relationships. Once you become aware of what you are letting in, then you can start to do something about it.
Key #2 – Filter out The Negative
You must start taking control of your Mind-Intake if you want true change in your life.
If the first thing you do when you get up is read the news, check email, hop on social media (or like those of us with kids) get your kids ups and let the chaos begin, then we need to re-think our first mind meal.
How you start the day will determine the thoughts that dominate your afternoon and night.
This morning, I (Zach) woke up and listened to the Bible App audio of Romans chapters 4 and 5, and then got my son up and cooked him breakfast (and it is amazing how positive that experience was since I started my morning with a positive intake). On my way to work at a coffee shop I put on the Hold Me Tight audio book which is a marriage study that Jody and I are doing that teaches positive cycles in conversation and how to hear each others deepest emotional needs. This got me thinking positive thoughts about Jody and what I can do to enhance our marriage.
I then got in to work, and opened Trello and starting organizing my day and prioritizing tasks. I refused to open my email, Facebook or Instagram or listen to the news, as all of those things become either neutral or negative influences on the start of my day. When I do open email or check social media, it is with a business mind-set and purpose, and to get in and get out fast.
My day was full of positive thinking, belief in what we are doing, and completing key tasks and staying focussed on helping others.
Key #3 – Up Until Now…
I just finished a 3 month personal growth coaching session with Julia Woods, and the first thing she brought to my attention was how much belief I had in my business acumen, but how I had a huge gap in my personal life.
She taught me a simple phrase that has changed the way I think about my personal life and especially my past.
“Up Until Now”
Whenever I catch myself saying something like “I was hurt as a kid, and I just keep people at a distance to protect myself.” I insert the phrase “up until now.” (I use this for anything that I say that seems concrete in my mind, but that I do want change to happen in).
What that does is it takes all that negative language and turns it futuristic. It says, “yeah, things have been hard, but I can change that! They WERE hard up until now.” Some might say that you are just fooling yourself because those thoughts or feelings I have do have truth to them. But Tim Sanders says:
“The reason it is so important to feed your mind good stuff is that the resulting thoughts determine your success or failure, your happiness or misery, and most important, the circumstances of your life.”
Wow! You have to start by putting better things into your mind and then believing that those things can shift. When you begin to believe, it changes your mind and it then changes the actual circumstances of your life.
We believe that you can change the way you think today, this week and this year, and that when you do, you will be able to make the things that you want for yourself a reality when you begin to believe.
From our family to yours, we wish you the absolute BEST for 2016.