Kick failed resolutions to the curb with ‘the Growth Mindset’

Click to play video: 'Change your thinking, try ‘Growth Mindset’'
Change your thinking, try ‘Growth Mindset’
WATCH ABOVE: Just because you stumble on a New Year’s resolution, doesn’t mean it doesn’t help you in some way. Your attitude can impact your success, especially if you have what’s called a ‘Growth Mindset.’ – Jan 29, 2019

The first month of the New Year is almost over, meaning there’s a good chance your 2019 health resolution has probably already gone awry.

READ MORE: From group training to ditching booze, here are 2019’s top health trends

An estimated 80 per cent of New Year’s resolutions are broken by mid-February and our attitudes towards those failures might be standing in the way from us achieving healthier lifestyles, according to Dr. Alex Clark with the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing.

Clark is an international speaker on the Growth Mindset; the notion that we aren’t failing if we learn from our mistakes and try again.

“Changing our exercise and lifestyle patterns really is incredibly hard,” Clark said. “This is one of the hardest things to succeed at.”

The Growth Mindset points to research about how we see the world.

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People with a “fixed mindset” think failures are based on lack of talent, while those with a “growth mindset” see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve — a key to success.

A meta-data analysis published in Frontiers in Psychology showed a three- to four-times higher academic success rate among those in a study group practising the growth mindset, compared to their counterparts with a fixed-mindset approach.

“[When we] take the opportunity to learn not only when we succeed, but also when we fail, and really incorporate that into changing our approach, that can be one of the biggest keys to success,” Clark said.

WATCH BELOW (March 15, 2017): Life coach Erica Diamond joins Global’s Laura Casella to explain the difference between a fixed mindset – people who rely on natural talent – and a growth mindset, where people believe skills can be developed.

Click to play video: 'The difference between fixed, growth mindsets'
The difference between fixed, growth mindsets

Research around neuroplasticity suggests “the actual structure of your brain changes when you start to exhibit this Growth Mindset thinking,” Clark explained.

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“It’s not just about behaviour; your brain actually changes. I think that’s amazing.”

Tips on making the Growth Mindset work for you. Tonia Gloweski / Global News

So how can we adopt this type of thinking when we’re so often conditioned to fail and give up? It’s all in how we think about failure.

“Remember, we can only fail if we don’t learn,” Clark said.

READ MORE: Alberta man tackles 365-day challenge in 2018 to make every day better

“So don’t beat yourself up over a broken resolution; instead focus on what you can learn about yourself along the way and try again.”

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