Category: Growth Mindset

Go for goals and stop setting ready resolutions fast forgotten…

 A New Year, a new you? Scrap that. It’s not a new you. It’s still you, but maybe you want to present the best you or to improve you in some way? Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want.

But, we don’t want to forget you, because that would mean leaving behind everything that has made you what you are.

We’re not shedding our reptilian skins and having our memories erased; we’re building our insight, knowledge and skills to propel us on our path; wherever we decide that’s leading us.

Setting goals and not resolutions is where I’m at. I don’t want to buy into commercial direction that aims to lure me into the latest fad. I want to build my year and beyond as I see and define it.

That’s why I’m going for goals and not ready resolutions that are far too easy to casually throw away like fast fashion.

Here are #10GoGettingTopTips on how you can get what you want…

#1 Turn on the kettle and let the brewing commence: Set goals you can get to...

We’re not talking about brewing for your daily caffeine intake, but your thoughts and ideas. You want to think about setting goals and decide how you will reach them. What will that look like in real life? What steps do you need to take in order to get there?

Start by jotting down and brainstorming. Use processes like mind mapping and spider diagrams, which are a great way to see and create flow to your ideas. You don’t have to select everything on your list.

And you don’t even have to do all of those things right now. That’s the point of planning. But it’s a good way to get the juices flowing with ideas.

Not every thought is going to be your golden goal. But noting down everything you might like to achieve will allow you to offer clarity of mind and focus to where you’d truly like to head.

#2 Think sums. If it doesn’t add up, it won’t happen: Accountability…

Hold yourself accountable and set a timetable. Split your aims into digestible sections such as; days, months and quarters, to be achieved over the course of the year.

But, keep yourself accountable. Find a friend, fill them in on your plight. Involve your work team and share your updates with them. You’ll find they’ll be right behind you, cheering you on.

Whoever you choose as your accountability partner, you want to find someone that can be your verbal conscience to keep you heading in the right direction.

#3 Don’t be fake. Set it to be real: Visualisation…

It’s a powerful thing to visualise. If you can see it, you can be it. If you can visualise it, you can reach it. So, I actively urge you to have a vision board.

You can create an actual board with pictures and words that associate and align with your goals. Or you can design one by using online tools that you’ll likely already have sitting on your phones or laptops.

#4 Find your groove: Make it real with a tick list…

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m a huge fan. You can create actual lists on bright post-its or lined paper, use highlighters, different coloured pens etc, or you can use note taking apps and the notes section on your phone.

However, you decide to play it, do it so you can place an actual tick beside your completed daily challenge, to-do item or obstacle. That way you can feel the satisfaction once it’s done. It’s seems minor, but trust me –– try it and you’ll realise, it isn’t.

#5 It’s good to be regular: Check back-in

Goals are one thing but achieving them is another. Set aside time to see where you’re at and if you’ve deviated off course how you can weave back to where you want to be.

If you’ve set accountability in place with a colleague, team member or even a friend; get them to check in with you too.

You’re not reliant on others to help you achieve, but a gentle nudge and a friendly face in your corner is a great boost.

#6 Stuff happens: Adjust where you need to

Life happens and sometimes our course is unintentionally altered. It’s unrealistic to assume the seas will be plain sailing and so try to filter in additional time to give you the opportunity to adjust if you need to.

Having to be flexible in times where life throws you a curveball doesn’t mean giving up on your goals, but it does mean you may need to plan around it.

Factoring this in from the off doesn’t impact you for the negative. What it does is to offer you a plan and a route should something unplanned happen.

#7 You don’t have to be a magician and keep the plates spinning: But you do want to keep spinning your motivation…

Staying motivated and staying on course can seem like you’re spinning the magician’s plates constantly. But it doesn’t have to be the case.

What keeps you motivated? What’s your magic sauce? Whatever, you need to keep you on course, do it. If it’s a break to catch up on your favourite Netflix box-set, then do it. If it’s a run to your favourite beauty spot, then do it. If it’s curling up with your book of the moment, then do it.

Motivation can be therapeutic and even energy gaining by doing things such as; talking it out with your partner, your best friend or the family pet. We all need a little motivation and if it’s keeping you on target, then don’t feel bad for doing whatever it is that works for you.

#8 It really is cool to communicate: Stay in-touch with your goals…

If it’s just you, set diary dates and use your accountability partner to check back in. If you’re a part of a team working towards goals, then set regular points to check in and see if you’re meeting the check points that you’ve set.

Use a diary, and even your phone diary to sync it to your laptop, your computer and even your tablet; so that you can see your goals and when you want to achieve them by.

Set reminders so they pop up and you can’t ignore them. Leave notes and even positive affirmations for yourself.

The journey is much easier if you challenge yourself but at the same time are kind to yourself too.

#9 There’s no one size fits all approach: Set small steps and mini milestones, as well a lightning leaps…

Set a collection of goals that are workable, doable and that are a mixture of those small steps and those lightning leaps. Not every goal has to be big or even business related. It can feel vulnerable to put yourself out there when there is that feeling that you might fail. But if you don’t try and you don’t plan towards it, you’ll never know.

Don’t let your good ideas be only that. Bring them to life by making them happen. You’re are the captain of your own ship. The destination course is yours.

#10 Find your get up and go. There’s no time like the present is there? Ready steady and set your goals…

There’s no time like the present. Get setting. You’ll likely already have ideas on where you want to be this year. Maybe even some that have been on the back-burner. Why wait? Put together your actionable goals that you know you want and can do this year.

Take that leap today and create positive habits that form a part of your year’s goals. Most importantly don’t forget to celebrate them once you’ve reached them. I know I’m much better with a purpose attached to what I’m doing and so goals really work for me.

It’s not always easy to be motivated and we don’t always feel like it. But your mindset, your resilience and your determination are huge driving forces, that are within your control.

So, what are you doing to shape your time today?

What are your #10GoGettingTopTips?

I’m no superhero, who is. None of us actually wear capes. Unless of course you’re superman or superwoman ­­­–– obviously. But you don’t have to be a superhero to achieve and excel in life. Honestly, it’s true. Remember you decide what success looks like, by putting that into a plan you offer yourself the best chance of seeing your goals become your achievements.

What would be your #10GoGettingTopTips? Could you share them with others so they can benefit from your wisdom too?

It’s worth noting that not all goals have to be business related. They could be life goals too. But remember a goal only becomes a reality it you plan and act upon it.

Don’t let the latest fad ready resolutions fast forgotten become you: be goal getting instead…

Here’s to the year you yearn for….

Do you need the ‘know how’ on how to write for your business? Fun fact…not only do I offer writing services and packages, but I can also consult with you on how to be your own content writer and show you how to write what you need for your business too.

Why not email me at, and connect with me on LinkedIn @Amber L Smith plus visit me at my website:

Hey you! Go get your goals. Whilst you’re thinking about it why not get in touch and tell me what tips you would add to my #Top10TipList above?….

First published on Thrive Global on 7th January 2020

Who controls who? The hidden (or not so secret) natural bias of your brain…

Can we control it? Can we override it? Would we even want to? Are we even aware that we do it?

I’m referring to the cognitive and negative bias of our brains. Our brains are naturally wired to be more heavily impacted by any negative news than the positive. It’s just how it is. And our brains can also at times be struck by cognitive bias.

We have a general tendency to hold onto the bad over the good. We make decisions based on our cognitive and negative biases, but are we even understanding that we are harbouring these thought processes?

What does cognitive and negative bias even mean? And how then do these biases potentially influence us and should we do anything about it? Let’s delve in and see…

Surging electrical activity proves how heavily influenced our brains are…

Psychology today wrote an article which included a study by John Cacioppo, Ph.D, and he found that the brain, ‘reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity. Thus, our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat news than good news.

Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason—to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.’

So, you see we are naturally wired this way. Naturally wired to remember the negative over the positive. Even though our survival doesn’t rely on this distress signal in the same way it once would, it still instinctively defaults back to this programmed setting each time.

Which also goes so far as to influence our cognitive bias. Where our brains develop memory shortcuts, which it relies upon for situations when we need to make a decision rapidly.

Cognitive biases are often as a result of your brains attempt to simplify information processing…

According to, ‘a cognitive bias is a type of error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. The human brain is powerful but subject to limitations. Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. They are rules of thumb that help you make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.

When you are making judgments and decisions about the world around you, you like to think that you are objective, logical, and capable of taking in and evaluating all the information that is available to you. Unfortunately, these biases sometimes trip us up, leading to poor decisions and bad judgments.’

Whilst it’s thought that our cognitive bias can be incredibly accurate, it can also catch us out; even when we think that we are being objective and thinking in a practical manner. You see we create shortcuts in our minds which determine how we should respond, think and feel in a particular situation.

Also called heuristics, these biases are based upon things which have previously happened to us. For example, it could be from; social pressures, emotional and individual pressures, as well as our own limitations to process things, that can impact these biases.

It’s interesting stuff, right?  These biases can also be incredibly useful to us when we need to think fast in varying situations. But they can also be the downfall to an open mind, and can potentially create health problems.

Too much negativity is actually bad for your health…

The University of Minesotahas discovered that negative feelings and attitudes over prolonged lengths of time can repress our immune system and impact our lifespan.

‘Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and  damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan. (Science has now identified that stress shortens our telomeres, the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which causes us to age more quickly.)

Poorly managed or repressed anger (hostility) is also related to a slew of health conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular diseasedigestive disorders, and infection.’

It is possible to address our negative bias and to tweak our way of thinking. That’s not to say you won’t have a natural bias. You will. You can’t completely override the way that we are wired. But it is to say we can look at how we react and choose to go about our lives.

A positive mindset really does help more than you realise. You can build a mindset of growth and positivity over time. This creates a greater strength of emotional wellbeing and resilience. And it allows us to open our horizons to a wealth of possibilities.

So, when there isn’t a threat or fault in your immediate environment: What can you do to avoid negativity and cognitive bias?

Negativity and cognitive bias would have aided our ancestors in the past and it still has a use today. But generally speaking we are not under immediate threat in our day to day lives. Our brains will still always look to store the negative and bad over the good. We can readily recount things that have happened to us that might be sad, embarrassing, or not very pleasant.

But how easily can you recall a positive mental note or memory? Negativity and cognitive bias can be counter-productive to us, and so there are a few ways in which you can look to develop a more balanced approach in your mind.

So, they are;

1) No-one was born knowing: Have a mindset of growth…

It’s in accepting that things go wrong from time to time, and that sometimes we may fail. But by seeing these times as an opportunity to learn and to grow. It’s all part of our development.

No one was born knowing and it’s right to not assume that even as adults our journey of understanding and learning isn’t yet complete.

2) Reboot and override: Look for the good in every experience…

Look for the positive in every experience you encounter. That’s not to say that you can’t be sad, you can’t be angry or that you can’t be unhappy. We are human beings after all, emotions are perfectly normal and natural.

But what we can do is to find the good in what we see, feel and understand. What difference could that make to the way you feel? But also, how that could change the way others see and feel around you.

3) Relish the good: Savour the moment…

Our lives are increasingly busy but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take the time to savour the moment when good things do happen. Relish the good. Science has shown that by taking time to digest these positive thoughts, actually allows more neurons to fire up and respond to the stimuli created. This helps to consolidate the experience in our memory.

So, savouring the moment really does have a positive impact with lasting results.

4) Encourage the understanding of good: Be more mindful…

Not only is savouring the moment a positive benefit to us, but so is being mindful of ourselves and our thoughts. By being aware of both good and bad experiences, we can allow ourselves to understand how we feel and think when something good does happen. When we choose to interact with our positive experiences, we can experience the whole sensation of thoughts, feelings and senses. This encourages the mind to store what’s happening and so next time it needs a shortcut to predetermine a reaction or feeling –– it has a more rounded selection to draw from.

Let’s draw to a close: The wiring isn’t all wrong –– balance is key…

It’s important not to think we can override all negative thoughts or cognitive biases. We can’t and shouldn’t want to. But it is to say that it’s always useful to be aware of why we are wired the way we are and to practice techniques to install a little more balance of our minds, our thoughts and our stored experiences.

So, what do you think? What do you believe about our cognitive biases and our negativity bias?

Is it possible to maintain balance of mind? It would be great to learn and understand what you think about the topic….

Has this topic got your neurons firing? Let’s keep the conversation going…

You can leave me a comment, or you can find me at; and on LinkedIn: @Amber L Smith, plus you can send me an email at: 

This is your fight song: tips 4 your success

I’m not bursting into song (I’ll save that for the car), I’m talking about your business plight and fight. We are all struck with obstacles in our path or periods in time where the going gets tough. But it’s what you do to pull yourself through that matters. It’s how you handle the nitty gritty, standing up and fighting for your purpose. Staying motivated can be a hard call when faced with a bleak situation.

It’s important to be able to use affirmation, be mindful of your well-being, to have business faith and to listen without agenda in order to help your chances of success. You have to be in your own corner rooting for yourself to win.

Try these 4 tips to boost your morale for success;

1) When the going gets tough: have your mantra

It’s inevitable that you’ll hit the theoretical wall time and time again throughout your journey. But it’s how you choose to handle these times that matters. You hear it over and over on social media that it’s the journey that matters as much as your desired end result. So, find yourself those words that will help you through in your times of need.

I tend to always tell myself to, ‘face your fear and do it anyway.’

My mum has always said, ‘have a little fire in your belly.’

And I tell my children and equally myself when anyone of us is feeling a little anxious about a challenge or task to repeat these sentences;

‘You’re badass

You’re awesome

and you’ve got this…’

If it doesn’t sound convincing, say it again, but a little louder until you feel confident. Sometimes there is nothing for it but jumping in head on and staring the situation square in the face.

Procrastination is not your friend

Procrastination is not your best friend here and you have to press override, reboot or whatever you want to call it in order to push on through. If you’ve ever heard of the book, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt,’ You’ll know that the only way for them to carry on into the next part of their adventure is to go through whatever is in their way.

2) Be mindful of your well-being

We are nothing are we not if we do not have our mental well-being. We spend a lot of time talking about how best to communicate, how to progress, offering our expertise and keeping up in a fast paced environment, and whilst those are all important focus points for us, we still need to ensure we take good care of our own well-being.

It can be hard to switch off in a busy world where everything demands our attention immediately and it can feel suffocating and exhausting. Which is why you should set healthy boundaries for yourself on when you choose to respond to those demands but also in when you will allow yourself to relax.

Much like we know we need to keep our bodies fit by doing exercise, the same applies to our minds. So it is important to take the time to find ways in which you know you can relax, gain a little perspective, clarity and focus.

I like to listen to podcasts whilst walking the dog, lose myself to a good book, meditate using the Headspace app, watch an epic film on the big screen, and to write in a journal to make sense of whirring thoughts in my head.

I find all of these things help me to switch off and to focus on me for a bit. When my mind is still I have the best moments of calm yet also inspiration. Whatever you choose or find works for you try and ensure that you regularly make time for those things.

You can’t succeed if you’re burnt out

Set daily times to hone in and unwind within your mind as well as weekly challenges for yourself. Staying mentally on the game is the way to finding your successful path.

3) ‘Cause you gotta have faith: do you have business faith?

As George Michael sang very well, ‘ cause I gotta have faith..’

You have to have faith in what you do, have faith in your ability to do what you do, have faith in those who support you, have enough faith to overturn that niggling doubt within you, have faith in yourself to know when to seek advice and know it’s ok to always be learning and to not know everything all of the time.

Have faith and believe in what you do and push down that path and keep going even when it gets tough. You’ll get through to the other side and can wear a big grin knowing you have overcome the obstacle in your way.

Yes….you’ve gotta have faith…

Keep a positive dialogue in your mind

Keep a positive dialogue in your mind. Rewrite any negative thoughts and replace with thoughts of motivation. If you were giving someone else a pep-talk what would you say? Try and do the same within your own mind.

4) Listen without an agenda: learn with clarity and focus

Do you listen with an agenda? You may find it happening within a business meeting, a sales meeting, a conversation with a friend or loved one. When we agenda listen we tend to feed the story in our own heads and interpret the meaning as we think it is. Causing us to sometimes jump ahead or predict an outcome.

Sometimes when we agenda listen it can leave us feeling wounded or angry. Sometimes verbally responding with what we think is our correct response. But sometimes missing the point entirely. I know I have been guilty of this and so I try to clear my head and to fully focus on the conversation I am having.

I try not to pre-empt the next sentence or what I am going to say in response to the person speaking but to have clarity and openness, and to know that what is being said is not always a direct reflection of me.

Practice makes perfect

Listening without agenda may not come naturally but the good news is, it’s a skill that can be acquired with practice. Try using this when you are next in a meeting or having a discussion and see what you learn by listening instead of letting your mind take over.

Give yourself the best chance of success

 Being a success in your life and business isn’t just about the goals you set it’s in how you manage the challenges you face. Give yourself the best chance of success by preparing how to mentally manage the pitfalls and by being your own cheerleader.

Remember when the going gets tough to chant your mantra, allow your well-being to be at its optimum, have business faith and learn and understand without agenda listening.

How you react is how you choose to respond. Your mindset is yours to control. It is with this and action that will offer you the opportunity for progression. What is your fight song of success?

Like what you’ve read? Why not follow me and let me know your thoughts in the comments – I’d love to hear from you.

Need help with telling your business story through blogs and articles? Let’s chat, you can get in contact and find me on LinkedIn Amber L Smith,on Twitter @SimplyamberLou. Send me an email me at and visit my website.

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Harness your unique….

I looked back over my shoulder….

…..and admired the beauty in the row of differing houses down the road. They were all unique. They all were of differing heights, size, style of brickwork, different windows, some with chimney’s and some without, maybe with a glimpse of the life that goes on inside. Driveways with cars and driveways with front gardens.

Each had its own identity. Each home said something about the person or people within. And it struck me in that moment that we’re all as different and unique as our very own fingerprint. And that is something to be celebrated. A strength to be harnessed and used.

Wonder of the day article #458 written in states that,

‘Your fingerprints are unique. That means that no one else in the world has the exact same ridges and lines that you have on your fingers. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints.

Your fingerprints stay the same from the time you’re born until death. Their uniqueness and lasting quality make fingerprints one of the best ways to identify a person.’

Which then led me to thinking that when I was at school, (and I’m sure many of you can identify with this) you tended to want to be the very opposite of unique. Being unique was not seen as a positive from the point of view of a teenager.  You wanted to blend in. Dress the same, have the same haircut, same shoes, even down to the same mannerisms. My parents must have been delighted! Fitting in was very much the aim.

Give or take 20 plus years and I’ve come full circle as I’m sure you have too. You want to embrace what makes you unique and what makes you well-you. You want to stand out amongst the competition and create your own edge.

Being wholly yourself defines who you’re and you define how you want to be portrayed. Standing out amongst the crowded competition and showcasing not only your skillset but also your personality is part of your appeal.

Being authentically you is an attractive trait particularly within the workplace. People can tell if you’re not being you and they can sense when it’s fake. By being present and comfortable in revealing who you uniquely are, you’re able to connect with others and gain trust. Trust allows you to grow and to nurture your relationships. It breeds loyalty and can be the difference between a potential consumer using you or paying for products or services elsewhere.

“To be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Coco Chanel

How unique do you feel? 

Telling your tale takes your customer or potential customer on a journey. A journey where through repeat engagement – it brings you interaction. Interaction brings you opportunity. Opportunity gives you dialog. And dialog brings you possibilities with your audience.

Your unique qualities are as unique as your fingerprint. Your edge is you. Just be you.

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Get in touch today and email me at;, or message me directly on LinkedIn at Amber L Smith or Twitter @simplyamberlou.

You can also visit my website for more posts of both past and present blog articles.

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