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Setting & Achieving Goals

How to Create a Winning Mindset, to Crush the Competition

Get yourself a ‘growth mindset,’ for starters.

Rick Martinez

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As an entrepreneur, you likely have a strand in your DNA that tells you to go out and crush the day for all it’s worth. This mindset sets you apart and is absolutely essential to your success.

But that small seed of an idea won’t germinate without a little upkeep. The best entrepreneurs know they need to cultivate that “crush it” mindset every day, regardless of whether they’re at home or in the office, in the car, at the gym or in the tub. This is the mantra I built my entire business on.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 3 Psychology Books to Change Your Mindset (and Your Business)

So, as the founder of that business, which teaches people to cultivate purpose, passion and productivity, to find a work-life balance, I’d like to offer my best tips on how to use your whole day to cultivate your winning mindset.

1. Absorb inspiration

You need to read, watch and listen, to soak up all the inspiration you can from the world around you.

“Reading can offer richer, broader and more complex models of experience, which enable people to view their own lives from a refreshed perspective and with renewed understanding,” says Josie Billington of the University of Liverpool, who’s an expert on the effects of reading.

2. Hit the treadmill

Staying fit keeps you physically and mentally sharp. It helps you look better, feel stronger and be more confident. (Plus, it always helps in a competitive meeting when you know you can outrun the guy on the other side of the conference table.)

Whether you hit the gym before work, over your lunch break or after closing up shop, it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day.

Entrepreneur Josh Steimle makes a point to prioritise exercise over business – knowing it will help his company in the long run. “I schedule my workouts during the workday and prioritise exercise over all my work activities,” Steiml says.

“There is some flexibility, but if there is a conflict between a trail run I need to get in and a meeting with a client, I’ll reschedule the client meeting first.

“I do this because I and my business can survive the consequences of rescheduling a client meeting, even if it means losing that client. But as soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether.”

3. Be that kid

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, developmental psychologist Carol Dweck describes how children react to challenges. In her studies, she posed a series of increasingly challenging puzzles to her young participants and found some surprising responses.

One boy “pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips and cried out, ‘I love a challenge!’”

I’ll bet that kid turns out to be the most successful student in his class – and probably an entrepreneur. The desire to tackle a challenge is something all great entrepreneurs share. It gives us a chance to show off our skills and creativity.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: How Attitude and Outlook Affect your Success

4. Get yourself a ‘growth mindset’

Dweck also found that mindsets can be categorised as either “growth” or “fixed.”

People with fixed mindsets believe their talents and traits are basically unchangeable, whereas people with growth mindsets believe their talents can be cultivated with effort.

I’ve always aimed for the growth mindset, and I’m a much more versatile businessman for it. That mindset has helped me see challenges as opportunities, turn criticism into fuel and be inspired by the success of others.

5. Celebrate and move on

You can keep your mindset strong, even when you’re outside “working hours.” The key is to celebrate what’s gone well in the day. Be grateful, even if you’ve secured only a small win.

Studies support the notion that rewards are critical to resetting, reframing and preparing for the next day.

Celebrate in whatever way makes you feel best, whether that means going to a movie with your kids, cracking open a bottle of wine or simply patting yourself on the back.

Then, let go of all the crappy moments that happened that day. Just as you’d counsel your favourite sports team, don’t let a bad play derail the entire game. Focus on the present. Next play. Move on.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations

Only your mindset will determine how far you rise above the pack. When your competition gets tired or stuck in a rut, it’s your mindset that will keep you going – pushing harder so that you can live to crush another day.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Rick Martinez is founder of Life Pivot, a San Antonio, Texas-based company that teaches people to cultivate purpose, passion and productivity into finding a work-life balance that creates success. Find out how to work less and make more by subscribing to its purpose hack.

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV

The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.

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The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

What You Put In Is What You Get Out – Create Your Own Success

The secret to curating a successful life starts with what you put in.

Allon Raiz

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You are what you eat, the saying goes. Your physical and even mental health are highly dependent on what you eat (or consume) daily. There are four fundamental factors of a system:  Input, boundaries, purpose and output. All systems are mostly defined by the combination of these four factors.

A professional athlete will be very diligent about what they consume in order to achieve the best possible outcome, and sprinters will have different guides and regimes to marathon runners. Essentially, high performing athletes curate their input, or design their own lives, to produce a favourable output.

The same is true of the high-performance entrepreneur — they too should be curating their input, not just in terms of what they consume through their mouths but more importantly, what they consume with their ears and eyes.

Related: For Shatty Mashego Success Lies In Maintaining A Positive Mindset

Positive inputs

A few years ago, I began to recognise that even though I might wake up in a good space in the morning, by 10am I would be feeling negative regardless of my daily practices. I had already established the discipline of recording and recognising my successes daily, as well as repeating daily affirmations and visualisations, yet within a few hours of starting my day, I found myself in a negative space.

I couldn’t figure out what was causing this; but after some analysis I realised that my daily routine included listening to talk radio on the way to work, catching up with the news on Twitter before my first meeting, and reading the morning paper which was neatly laid out on my desk. It quickly became clear that my negativity could be attributed to my over-consumption of bad news.

Each communication platform — from Twitter to the radio — has the power to depress anyone who consumes its news, but the combination of all three was toxic to me. It affected my mood, concentration and, invariably, my output. In a single decision, I eliminated these three platforms from my daily ‘diet’ and instead curated a different morning experience to see whether it would change the output. Instead of the radio, I decided to listen to either music or an audiobook; instead of Twitter, I decided to call a friend; and I didn’t renew my newspaper subscription.

The results were instantaneous. This experiment set me on a mission to see what else I could deliberately curate and design, so I began to strategically design my life to inform the successful and positive output that I desired. I subscribed to online newsletters that were informative and thought-provoking, such as Brain Food by Shane Parish; I cajoled my management team to begin listening to audiobooks at the same time that I was doing so to ensure that we included positive discussions in our bi-monthly meetings; and I ensured that there were always three litres of water in my immediate surrounds to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Create your own success

In case you haven’t experienced the lightbulb moment yet, the simple explanation is this: All systems have inputs and outputs, and the quality of the input results in the quality of the output.

If you see yourself as the curator of your input and as the architect of your environment, you can start to create the inputs, set the boundaries and define purposes to result in the output that commands entrepreneurial success.

Related: Daily Practices for Cultivating a Positive Work Culture to Support Your Business

If something really affects the quality of your life — whether it’s your attitude, your mood or the clarity of your thought processes — it’s time to relook the design and start to curate an environment that is conducive to your success.

And, if you’re concerned about missing out on what’s happening, always remember that, if a news report or update has a direct impact on your life, the chances are high that you will hear it through your friends and family.

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Setting & Achieving Goals

Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

Decrease the amount of noise in your head.

Nina Zipkin

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Accomplishing a goal can be hard work. But even if a project is something you are passionate about and want to complete, distractions such as social media, doubts and other tasks can make it nearly impossible to concentrate on it. Don’t fret. We’re here to help.

Check out these eight steps to help you prioritise and clear your mind.

1. Stop multitasking

Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work – like checking emails – and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

2. Block out your days

A good way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day – maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour – to spend on a given project.

Colour code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.

3. Get your blood pumping

going-for-a-walk

You can’t focus if your are stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a walk for 20 minutes. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.

4. Help your technology help you

A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you are spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold TurkeyFreedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines.

5. Meditate

Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing so everyone get some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made SimpleCalm and Headspace.

For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win

6. Change up what’s in your headphones

headphones

While background noise might help block out a loud office or construction outside your window, you need to be careful that what you are listening to isn’t distracting you more.

Music with lyrics can sap your focus from the task in front of you, so consider trying classical or electronic music instead. Or use a playlist that is familiar to you, so you aren’t tempted to turn all your attention to the new sound.

7. Streamline your communication

If you find that all of your focus gets trained on getting your inbox down to zero, think about how you can get yourself out from under a relentless deluge of email. Ask yourself and your colleagues to think about whether this conversation would be most effective through email, on the phone or in person.

Taking five minutes to walk over to someone else’s workspace will save you the time and energy invested into a redundant email chain and clarify how you want to attack a problem more quickly.

Related: 7 Steps To Achieving Our Higher-Level Goals

8. Find an environment with the right kind of noise

To be the most effective, you need to strike a delicate balance between too much noise and total silence. According to David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, “some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation,” Burkus wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

“Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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