“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a cliché that has been used all too often to convince us that our personal growth is limited, particularly as we age. If we simply accept the premise of the cliché, we are operating in a fixed mindset; that is, the belief that our abilities are predetermined and we therefore should avoid challenges, as our efforts to overcome them will ultimately be fruitless. After all, once we are no longer encouraged to think differently in school or to learn a new skill in the workplace, haven’t we already done all the growing there is to do?
Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, encourages us to instead consider how we may be better served by operating with a growth mindset. In her book, she asks:
“What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?”
A growth mindset simply means that we think of self-improvement as something that we have the power to achieve, rather than something outside our control. Instead of viewing aging as a time of inevitable decline, what if we viewed it as an opportunity to learn a new skill, set challenging goals or make an investment in personal development? Here are some ways to do just that:
1. Play – Plan a trip to a far-flung destination you’ve always dreamed about visiting (once it is safe to do so). Start a card club with friends and establish a weekly game.
2. Learn – Sign up for a cooking class to learn a new technique in the kitchen. Enroll in a watercolor class to create beautiful works of art.
3. Socialize – Consider stepping outside your comfort zone in making a new friend. Sign up to be a mentor to a young person in the community.
4. Exercise – Sign up to run or walk a 5k for charity, then train to complete that distance. Take a group exercise class that challenges you physically.
We are already primed to think of January as an opportunity for new beginnings, so why not start this year with a fresh mindset? Getting older does not have to mean slowing down or sticking to what we have always known or done. The Landing offers numerous opportunities to step into something new and challenge yourself to get connected in a new way.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 715-841-1855 to learn about our affordable membership options and embrace 2021 as a year of personal growth!