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.
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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.
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.
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.
Research around neuroplasticity suggests “the actual structure of your brain changes when you start to exhibit this Growth Mindset thinking,” Clark explained.
“It’s not just about behaviour; your brain actually changes. I think that’s amazing.”
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.
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“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.”