Mindset Solver All-in-One: Conquer Any “Inner Game” Issues Including Negativity, Positivity, Productivity, Focus, Perfectionism, Clarity and More (in 252 Tips Plus 272 Deep-Probing Questions)

Whatever money issue, technology issue, or motivational issue you're dealing with, chances are the things that slow you down or hold you back are currently 80% internal (the way you think about things) and 20% external (your actions and the things around you).

Many times, if I'm feeling a bit lost or otherwise unfocused, I'll first identify the SPECIFIC problem I'm having (i.e. frustrated, overwhelmed) and then find a bunch of articles dissecting the problem.

Usually, reading about the cause of things like burnout, guilt, and distractions (for example) -- and the various strategies for dealing with specific problems like journaling, meditation, exercise, find a mastermind, complete smaller tasks -- are far more helpful than any amount of denial or self-reflection...

That's why I'm revealing my "master file" of inner mindset solutions to you...

  • First, if you're trying to overcome a negative issue (like a bad mood), then find your problem and solution in the first section
  • If you're looking for a positive change in your life (focus, doing more in less time) then jump to the second section
  • If you want to get motivated, check out the third section below
  • And finally, if your goal is daily maintenance or you're looking to think your way out of a problem, jump to the bonus section where there's an interesting list of questions to ask yourself

Have fun. I see this post being a resource you turn to again and again when you need that little boost.

Part 1: Overcome Negativity & Bad Habits (eliminate the bad): 85 Tips

Fight Negativity (HuffingtonPost)

  • Know your triggers: recognize unhelpful thought patterns, challenge them, create a new habit
  • Explore the opposite reality: tell yourself "I can lose weight" instead of "I'll never lose weight"
  • End black and white thinking: watch out for the words "always" or "never"
  • Play out the worst case scenario: realize that the consequences of your actions aren't that extreme
  • Grill yourself: ask yourself probing questions to re-frame

Conquer Stress (WebMD)

  • breathe deeply
  • meditate
  • exercise
  • practice guided imagery
  • eat well
  • talk positively to yourself
  • sleep well

Get Out Of A Bad Mood (Psychology Today)

  • Don't wait for the dark cloud to lift: Narrow down the problem and apply that specific solution.
  • Guilt: atone for your actions in a small way
  • Small rejections: you don't know the other person's circumstances, so don't take things personally
  • Outstanding tasks: make a plan to tackle outstanding tasks
  • Brooding: use a two-minute distraction like Sudoku to stop the "short film" playing in your mind
  • Low self-esteem day: have a small victory such as a stress-relief workout
  • Fearing failure: focus on the things you can control
  • Feeling disconnected: brief social interactions
  • Getting caught up in small annoyances: make a list of five things you're grateful for
  • Hunger: have a snack
  • Exhaustion: take a 15-minute power nap

Beat Overwhelm (Christine Kane)

  • Get out of the weeds: get your top 3 priorities for the week, get breakthrough lessons from the week before, and schedule work-out time/downtime
  • Project vs. task: separate big projects from small tasks
  • Experience completion: set super small goals so that you feel good about completing something
  • Set the timer: you're on a time limit, so you aren't pulled away by other tasks
  • Eliminate all-or-nothing thinking: don't expect to be perfect. Instead, expect yourself to practice good habits

Overwhelm II (Think Simple Now)

  • Step out: move to a different location to view your circumstances from a fresh perspective
  • What is most important? Ask yourself, how do I want to feel? What is important to me?
  • Journaling: sort out thoughts on paper
  • Give up control: allow others to contribute
  • Ask for and allow help: what's the worst thing that could happen?
  • Create boundaries: set rules such as, don't check email during family time
  • Shut out noise: engage in a creative project, sit back, meditate
  • Bedtime ritual: quiet your mind and ask what you enjoyed about today

How To Not Be Hard On Yourself

  • Your mistakes are part of your learning.
  • Don't compare yourself to others because you are not them.
  • There is no right way to do anything.
  • Stand up for what you believe, even if it's unpopular.
  • Learn from people who criticize you.
  • Accept your weaknesses as your "features."
  • Look at your past as an adventurous biography.
  • Don't underestimate your talent until you apply it 100 times.
  • Every single problem you have is not unique.
  • Intelligence is relative, self esteem is not.
  • Express your anger in a creative way.
  • Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

Self-Sabotage And Fear Of Success (Six Healthy Habits)

  • Success threatens because it creates change: increased challenges and responsibilities
  • Believe in your ability to change: your skils and talents are variable
  • Flight or fight response is natural: fear of being inadequate and fear of rejection
  • To overcome fear, make it conscious: failure is not the enemy of success. If you don't succeed, try something new. The real enemies of success: complacency, apathy, over-zealousness
  • Fear itself as a motivator is only a defensive tool: engage fully with life, and not timidly.

Frustration (Dragos Roua)

  • accept reality
  • shift your focus
  • talk about it with a friend
  • journal it
  • write a letter about it
  • write a worst-case scenario
  • identify a list of possible actions
  • sleep on it
  • be your own avatar
  • read something funny
  • stop blaming yourself
  • take a walk
  • see it from the future
  • cook a delicious meal
  • go to a party
  • write about your past successes
  • borrow some enthusiasm: get involved in fresh projects and be around enthusiastic people
  • soak and dry
  • watch a comedy
  • attach with the why weapon: why am I broke?
  • volunteer for something
  • stand up and dight
  • stop blaming others
  • do small and repetitive tasks
  • see it from the past: you have a huge life experience, you just don't trust it enough
  • read similar stores
  • assess progress: the more you write, the bigger your progress seems
  • disguise it: it's bad now but look what it can become
  • contrast it with a worse situation: imagine what it would be like to live on a desert island the rest of your life
  • dilute it with meditation
  • get physical: exercise to release endorphins
  • this too shall pass: everything fades away in time
  • write a list of 33 ways to overcome frustration

Remove Distractions (LifeHack)

  • remove bad habits: turn off TV and set a bedtime routine
  • declutter your mind
  • clear your day before you start it
  • prepare your workplace
  • zen your computer: close down email, use RescueTime
  • set your time: create time slots for individual tasks
  • solidify your attitude: pretend you're being watched or that there is an approaching deadline
  • close the door
  • manage the task: break big problems into smaller chunks
  • go an extra mile

Make a Change, Get Out of a Rut & Be Positive (add the good): 67 Tips

How To Have A Great Day Every Day (Inc Magazine)

  • listen to or read something that inspires you
  • make your body stronger and more resilient
  • review and hone your plans for the future
  • do at least one thing that's worthwhile
  • help somebody less fortunate
  • spend 20 seconds appreciating what you have
  • record at least one good memory

Improve Confidence And Self-Esteem (ReachOut)

  • positive self-talk
  • don't compare yourself to others
  • exercise
  • don't strive for perfection
  • don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake
  • focus on the things you can change
  • do things that you enjoy
  • celebrate the small stuff
  • be helpful and considerate
  • surround yourself with supportive people

Stop Being So Busy (Inc Mgaazine)

  • Stop doing work that is not aligned with your talents
  • Be discerning when you book meetings
  • Schedule time for thinking
  • Ask yourself why you are so busy
  • Stop multitasking

Overcome Procrastination (Entrepreneur Magazine)

  • know yourself
  • practice effective time management
  • change your perspective
  • commit to assignments
  • work in productive environments
  • be realistic
  • self-talk positively
  • un-schedule: keep time free for extracirricular activities
  • swiss-cheese tasks: devote small chunks of time to a big task
  • don't indulge fantasies: devise physical steps to achieve results
  • plan for obstacles
  • improve learning behavior
  • help yourself
  • reward progress
  • learn to forgive yourself

Change a Bad Habit (Success Magazine)

  • disgust: enough is enough
  • decision: don't camp at the fork in the road
  • desire: find your hot-button that makes you want it now
  • resolve: promise yourself you'll never give up

Change Your Life In Six Steps (Success Magazine)

  • change your beliefs, change your expectations
  • change your expectations, change your attitude.
  • change your attitude, change your behavior
  • change your behavior, change your performance.
  • change your performance, change your life

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals (MindTools)

  • set goals in these categories: career, financial, education, family, artistic, attitude, physical, pleasure, public service
  • make those goals S.M.A.R.T.: specific (or significant), measurable (or meaningful), attainable (or action-oriented), relevant (or rewarding), time-bound (or trackable)
  • achieve the goal: make it harder if you hit it too easily, or easier if you didn't make it. set other goals this achievement opened up for you.

Become Smarter (LifeHack)

  • Drink 2 glasses of water within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Read a book summary during breakfast
  • Listen to stimulating podcasts/audiobooks during your commute
  • Drink green tea while working
  • Take naps during the day
  • Don't take sugar during the day
  • Visit social media / meme websites only a couple of times a day
  • Play games instead of watching TV or movies
  • Read a book instead of watching tv
  • Do some programming
  • Watch TED talks while cooking
  • Do some simple exercises during the day
  • Spend time with someone smarter than you
  • Talk to people who disagree with you
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Carry a notepad
  • Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to plan tomorrow

Productivity & Motivation (get it done): 100 Tips

Time Management To Work Smarter And Not Harder (The Creativity Post)

  • complete most important tasks first
  • learn to say "no"
  • sleep at least 7-8 hours
  • devote your entire focus to the task at hand
  • get an early start
  • don't allow unimportant details to drag you down
  • turn key tasks into habits
  • be conscientious of amount of tv/internet/gaming time
  • delineate a time limit in which to complete task
  • leave a buffer-time between tasks
  • don't think of the totality of your to-do list
  • exercise and eat healthily
  • do less
  • utilize weekends, just a little bit
  • create organizing systems
  • do something during waiting time
  • lock yourself in
  • commit to your plan to do something
  • batch related tasks together
  • find time for stillness
  • eliminate the non-essential

Increase Productivity (Inc Magazine)

  • track and limit how much time you're spending on tasks
  • take regular breaks
  • set self-imposed deadlines
  • follow the "two-minute rule"
  • just say no to meetings
  • hold standing meetings
  • quit multitasking
  • take advantage of your commute
  • give up on the illusion of perfection
  • take exercise breaks
  • be proactive, not reactive
  • turn off notifications
  • work in 90-minute intervals
  • give yourself something nice to look at
  • minimize interruptions (to the best of your ability)

Focus (LifeHack)

  • focus on one thing
  • eliminate known distractions
  • calm the mind
  • de-clutter
  • exercise
  • clarification of goals
  • simplify

Conquer Perfectionism (PsychCentral)

  • remove yourself from the competition: don't return to meetings or groups that stress you out about your progress
  • make up some rules: only check a metric if you feel it defines you
  • do a reality check: distinguish unrealistic expectations from realistic ones
  • return to your exodus moment: recognize the past moments you were freed from fear
  • show your weakness: be real and express yourself from where you are, not where you want to be
  • celebrate your mistakes: accept the things you've done wrong
  • add some color: stop seeing things in black and white. A solution that worked yesterday might not work well today
  • break the job down: break a tough task down into component parts
  • be yourself instead of being perfect
  • believe in redemption: you don't have to get it right on the first try

Take Action (Positivity Blog)

  • reconnect with the present moment
  • be accountable to others
  • be accountable to yourself
  • lighten up
  • use a limited to-do list
  • choose instead of should
  • focus on the how instead of the if's
  • get enthusiastic
  • start small

Taking Action II (Art of Manliness)

  • action is cheaper than planning: the wright brothers beat all mega-corporations for the first flight
  • action allows emergence: keep trying, the solution might be just around the corner
  • inaction is scarier: action gives you scars and makes you grow but inaction makes you soft and decay
  • motivation follows action
  • action is an existential answer: do something
  • action creates courage: fake courage becomes real
  • explanations follow actions
  • action beats the odds
  • action makes you humble
  • action isn't petty: there's no room for gossip

Add More Hours To The Day (LifeHack)

  • remove big chunks: television, internet, games, e-mail, work, chores, schoolwork
  • reclaim gap time: books, listen, problems, articles, creativity, rehearsal, engage
  • triage: e-mail, reading, television, exercise, meetings, relationships

Best Practices to Work from Home (Entrepreneur Magazine)

  • Set and keep regular office hours
  • Plan and structure your workday
  • Dress to impress
  • Set aside a designated work area
  • Take breaks
  • Avoid distractions

Bonus: Probing Questions (deep insight): 272 Questions

101 Questions Self-Reflective Questions

  • If you have an hour left to live, what would you do?
  • If you have one minute left to live, what would you do?
  • What advice would you give to yourself 3 years ago?
  • Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? Why?
  • If you have 1 million dollars, what will you do with it?

30 Journaling Prompts

  • The two moments I'll never forget in my life are... (describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable)
  • Using 10 words, describe yourself.
  • Make a list of everything you'd like to say no to.
  • Make a list of everything you'd like to say yes to.
  • Write the words you need to hear.

101 Ways to Jumpstart Creativity

  • Read a different newspaper. If you read the Wall Street Journal, read the Washington Post.
  • Make up new words that describe the problem. e.g., "Warm hugs" to describe a motivation problem and "Painted rain" to describe changing customer perceptions.
  • Which of two objects, a salt shaker or a bottle of ketchup best represents your problem? Why?
  • Imagine your idea and its opposite existing simultaneously.
  • If you could have three wishes to help you solve the problem, what would they be?
  • Write a six word book that describes your progress on the problem. e.g. "At present all thoughts are gray," "I am still not seeing everything."

40 Ways to Gain Clarity

  • What are you tolerating/putting up with?
  • Who should you be hanging out with?
  • In what way is the current situation absolutely perf
  • What's your favorite way of sabotaging yourself, and your goals?
  • What would you go do right now with your life if time or money where not an issue?

Filed in: Archive 1: 2012-2016Mindset

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