We’ve all experienced tough days or weeks when we feel a little less motivated and/or productive than normal. Everyone experiences their own personal life struggles, and research has demonstrated that we’re far more likely to focus on our disappointments than our wins. However, the key to staying focused and on track with our goals is to not let each pitfall become the center of our thoughts.
This aligns with what is known as a ‘growth mindset,’ or viewing personal struggles as growth opportunities while actively reflecting on accomplishments and areas of improvement. Adopting a growth mindset means believing we can achieve anything with sufficient motivation, despite the risk of failure.
According to F45 Sport Nutritionist Kim Bowman, one of the best ways to start shifting focus towards a more growth-oriented point of view is to establish a daily practice of self-reflection. The key here is to actively write out how we are progressing and where we may be able to improve. Writing out our thoughts in a journal has been known to provide significant value in creating a lasting growth mindset, a more positive mood, and increased motivation.
In fact, one of the healthiest and most cost-effective ways to cope with stress and overcome a motivation slump is to keep a daily gratitude journal. While it may seem simple, there is true value in setting aside a small amount of time each day (morning or evening) to pause and express appreciation for what makes us happy or what we are thankful for in our life. The key benefits to creating a growth mindset through a daily gratitude journal are noted below:
Boost productivity and motivation
Getting caught up in everyday life and day-to-day tasks without taking time to reflect upon each day can limit our motivation. Why? Focusing solely on daily tasks means we can begin to lose sight of how far we’ve progressed or what we may have achieved in the long term. Studies have found that actively journaling about our accomplishments or struggles throughout the week can be extremely beneficial for productivity. Specifically, it allows us to reflect upon the bigger picture of what we are working towards and recognize that not every day is going to be as perfect or productive as other days.
Boost self-esteem and happiness
Now more than ever, we are constantly bombarded with social media and images of what materialistic items we ‘need’ to have in our life. Unfortunately, when we are constantly scrolling through ads of commercialized items, it can make our own personal wins seem less significant. This can leave us feeling unaccomplished and create a false sense of what it means to achieve success. Keeping a gratitude journal can help positively shift mindset and create a greater sense of self-esteem. This practice helps us to gain better appreciation for our own personal achievements and growth, which are often overlooked during stressful periods in our life.