Have you ever heard the Erma Bombeck quote: "Worry is like a rocking chair? It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere." It's so true. If you tend to brood a lot and think of what's not going right in your life and what could go wrong, I have some good news for you: You can change. Your thoughts are powerful and when you work to change them, you really, truly can change your entire life.
Decide now to make the new year ahead positive by making little changes in how you think. Get ready to welcome your most awesome year yet. Here's your game plan to start your year on a fabulously positive note ...
1. Talk to yourself the way you'd talk to a best friend.
If you find yourself in a bad mood, you might want to ask yourself what you've been thinking about. It’s probably not positive! Pay attention to that internal dialogue. Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself? If your answer to either question is a no, then you have some work to do.
What you say on the inside determines what happens on the outside. If your internal dialogue is positive and you encounter a setback, you can talk yourself through it. You will automatically say things like: “I can do this. I have overcome challenges before. I know this is temporary. I will turn things around.” Positive self-talk is comforting, empowering and contributes greatly to ease of mind and happiness.
2. Practice stopping your negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
If you know your internal dialogue is NOT positive, just practice stopping the negative thought and saying “NEXT!” and replace it with a positive thought. Realize that sometimes negative stuff just pops into our minds, and you can just choose to disregard it for the nonsense that it is—just move on to a positive thought instead.
3. Make a success list.
What wins have you had in the past year? List them. Include all wins, big and small. Once your list is complete, reread it. Sometimes you have to go back and reflect on your victories as a mental reminder of how awesome you truly are. Spend more time on what went right rather than on what went wrong. Noticing your accomplishments always fuels future accomplishments.
4. Do a self-compassion check.
Do you give yourself a soft place to land when you've had a bad day? Make your mind and home a comforting place. Be kind to yourself and show yourself some empathy. Designate a room in your home as a place of serenity where you can recharge. Create a space that reminds you to breathe and exhale negativity.
5. Have goals to keep you in motion.
We always feel better when we are in action mode. Goals keep your brain focused on making positive changes in your life and away from dwelling on anything negative. Just the process of making goals reflects your belief that you are in charge of your life, and empowering thoughts keep you positive!
6. Practice positive statements about you.
You may giggle at this one ... but positive statements about you in the present tense can go a long way. Write some short statements about you to give you a confidence boost. I am strong. I am confident. I rock. I am kind. Read those sentences every day.
7. List what's wonderful about your life.
When is the last time you paid attention to all the wonderful aspects of your life—even the little things? Notice all of those things you appreciate each day—it’s a powerful way to stay in your happy place.
When you practice being positive, you'll be amazed at how it can lift your mood and lead to more positive things happening in your life. Your positive (almost worry-free) year is ahead. Embrace it. Live it fully. Most importantly, be on your own side!