A new year is upon us, and for many of us, this means it is a time of reflection. A time to assess where you are in life: to evaluate the past year, imagine the year ahead and consider what you might want to improve. The start of a new year inspires us, and New Year’s resolutions are made with abandon.
Yet, sometimes our best laid plans fall flat. Sticking to resolutions is easier said than done. It takes time and persistence to break or make a habits. More often than not the struggle to following through with our resolutions is internal. No matter what you want to change, you need to believe you can! Your mindset, how you view yourself, your abilities and characteristics, and whether these can evolve, is key!
According to Dweck (2006), people can be placed on a continuum from having a fixed to a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe their talents and abilities are innate and unchanging: ‘You are either good at something or you’re not, no amount of work can change that.’ In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe talents and abilities can develop over time, through dedication, hard work, new strategies and help from others.
Your mindset guides how you interpret the world and respond to events. Your mindset can have a considerable effect on the outcome of resolutions: Believing you can improve increases chances for success! People with a growth mindset, who for example believe they can become better at math, are more likely to improve over time: to make those small, seemingly insignificant, every day decisions that pave the path to change.
In reality, we all have mixture of mindsets. One moment we have a growth mindset, in another we may be triggered by challenges, criticism or failure into a fixed mindset; doubting our ability to grow. Therefore, this month, we’ll be taking a closer look at mindsets, their importance, onset, and consequences. We invite you to share your ideas on how to develop and maintain a growth mindset in the comments below, or reach us on Twitter @GEMH_Lab.
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, NY: Random House.