At times, I confound myself. At one moment, I am bound and determined to accomplish something. The next moment, my resolve seems to sink into the quicksand of a busy life. I find myself less confused these days based upon some insights shared by Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success. Mark works with people who want to start a business or grow their current business. His observations about what causes one person to succeed while another fails was the key I was looking for to help me stick with the goals I set for myself. If you have specific goals you want to achieve or maintain, read on and learn the secret of recognizing whether you are prepared to succeed or fail.
Are you a Thinker, Doer, Struggler or Achiever? When it comes to healthy lifestyle choices, where is your Mindset? Where is your client’s Mindset? When you review your professional goals and step out to achieve them, what is your Mindset? If you can determine your Mindset, you can decide to keep it or change it. The right Mindset will guarantee success in achieving your goals!
Understanding your Mindset is not about labeling yourself permanently, like a personality profile. The question is not, "What Mindset am I?" It is, "When am I …a Thinker, a Struggler, a Doer or an Achiever?" The important concept to understand is that two of the Mindsets will keep you stuck, while the other two will enable you to see progress and continued success.
When you learn to recognize your Mindset and understand what it is you need, you will move beyond stuck or confused to success.
Your Mindset about something can change in the blink of an eye. Insight and information help to shift your Mindset. Your beliefs, past experiences and attitudes about yourself change and vary depending upon the area of life you’re looking at.
I’ll describe each of the Mindsets, what the want is, what the true need is, the obstacle contained in each and the key question you need to ask yourself to move to the level of Achiever or Doer - the Mindsets of success.
What Is Your Mindset?
The Thinker is the individual who is thinking about something. "I’m thinking about getting in shape." "I’m thinking about changing careers." "I’m thinking about hiring a success coach." The Struggler is someone who is caught up in a struggle, is focused on all the obstacles and challenges involved in achieving a goal. The Struggler says, "I know I should spend more time with my family, but I just have three more months of this crunch time." "I know it would be smart for me to take more time off next year, but it’s so insane when I come back, it’s not worth taking time off." "I know I should be lifting weights, but I don’t know how to get started." You get the idea.
The Doer is someone who has made a decision to do something and typically has a time frame. The Doer says, "I’m signed up for that time management course, and this year I’m going to make time management an active priority." "I’ve heard how great yoga is, so I’ve just started classes." "I’m going to plan my meals so I’m not sabotaging my health and energy at every meal."
The Achiever is the individual who has determined a goal and is focused on progress and the outcome. For instance, he or she will look at the time and money put forth for health related programs as an investment. The Achiever says, "I’ve heard a personal trainer will get me on track for weight training, I’d like to invest in that kind of relationship." Or the Achiever says, "I’m interested in increasing my business by 50 to 80 percent this year. Let’s get started." "I am determined to focus on significance in my life over success, even if it costs me financially this year. I’m going to create a life with deeper fulfillment."
The goal is to think, do and more consistently act like an Achiever.
A Thinker wants to make a decision. A Struggler wants a quick fix (most of the $33 billion diet pills and potions business is supported by Strugglers). The Doer wants action. The Achiever wants a foundation on which to build continued success. What is it you want these days? Can you pinpoint the perspective you have in your approach to your lifestyle/health goals? How about your professional aspirations?
The Thinker needs information. A Thinker may sound like a Struggler. "I think I need a personal trainer to get going, but it’s probably too expensive." Right now, this individual is a Thinker who is thinking about whether a personal trainer would be worth the expense. Without more information, a decision can’t be made. Suppose this Thinker calls and gets information on training. His Mindset may then shift to any of the others. For instance, he may slip into the Struggler’s mindset, "Wow, that’s so much. I couldn’t possibly spend that much on training." (Forget the amount he just spent on new golf clubs!) Or the person may become an Achiever and say, "You know what? I’m tired of feeling tired! When can we get started?" Same information, different Mindset.
In order for the Struggler to shift Mindsets, he often needs a new perspective, a "wake up call." When your perspective changes about the value of something, often your struggling ends. When the options are start exercising, start learning to relax or have a heart attack, the Struggler often shifts his Mindset. Discovering you are borderline diabetic may help shift your Mindset from a Struggler to a Doer. Yet, that is not a guarantee. My dad knew seven years before he ended up having heart surgery that his lifestyle put him at risk for heart disease. He continued to have a Struggler Mindset.
Another client was too busy to examine the emptiness and loneliness in her marriage until she struggled into divorce. When the reality of supporting her children became evident, she shifted into a Doer Mindset, became proactive and started making things happen.
The Doer needs to act on her goal immediately. The Doer needs to make the call, set the appointment, pack her workout bag and clear an hour out of her schedule. Responding with a sense of urgency to the changed Mindset is important. The Doer is looking for productivity.
The Achiever is looking for progress and often needs a partner/support resource. My clients use me as a resource to help them make their lifestyle changes last. They partner with me to design a life plan that brings the fulfillment, energy, hope and fun back into their lives.
The Achiever says, "I want to lose weight the smart way. I’ll agree to losing one to two pounds per week and following the recommended workout program. I’ll agree to review my choices daily and monitor my progress." This is the person who may or may not lose all the weight he determined to in a given time frame, but he is more excited about the progress than the numbers on the scale.
The Achiever wants his relationships to be healthy, dynamic and playful. He also knows that this goal takes time and a plan to achieve.
Here’s an example of an Achiever email I received. "Two things: 1) I’m confirming our day together for media training on January 27. I’ll send you an agenda early next week. 2) I would like any recommendations you have for a personal trainer. I love to run but will have to supplement it with other aerobic exercise since my knees aren’t what they used to be. Also, I need to be working on weights and stretching. My goal is overall fitness (toning, strengthening and feeling healthy). I would like to get started right away and work hard with a trainer for six months or moderately over a year, then move into my own regimen with a trainer’s guidance. How does that sound?"
Not that is an Achiever client!
The challenges each Mindset faces are different. If you are a Thinker, motivation is your challenge. If you’re still stuck "thinking" about getting healthier, you haven’t discovered a compelling goal that motivates you. If you are a Struggling with a professional goal, ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" Fear often keeps a Struggler in a stuck Mindset.
The Doer needs to be aware of being busy vs. productive. Thoughtfully following through on goals and recommendations is important. Understanding why you are doing the things you are doing will prevent you from shifting into a Struggler Mindset when your co workers, staff or family are inconvenienced by your self care activities and voice their unhappiness or confusion.
When considering your goals, what is your Mindset? Are you aware of when you shift from one Mindset to another? When are you an Achiever or Doer? A Mindset does not label you; it reveals what you need and want and suggests questions to ask yourself. Operating with an Achiever Mindset throughout your day, in every area of your life, is a great goal. That’s what this exercise offers you, the opportunity to reflect, recreate, rethink and recharge the design of your life going forward!