The first day of the last month of the year always gets me thinking about endings and beginnings. In the waning days of 2019, I naturally reflect on how the year went. It’s been eventful, trying at times and not without loss. Overall, though it has been a very hopeful year, full of possibilities.
As my husband, Sean, would say, I am an eternal optimist. And I wear that badge proudly. I like being considered optimistic, positive, and expectant of the best in people and situations.
Now you are either thinking, “I am with you, sister” or “What a nut job”. It could go either way.
Let me share with you the secrets to live a more optimistic life.
1. Hang around with optimistic people (duh!)
It is hard to stay upbeat if you surround yourself with pessimistic and negative people. Seek out those who maintain cheerful attitudes, coupled with a knack for hanging in there when things get tough. No victims here!
2. Avoid TV and social media as much as you can.
Most of what is fed to us through these avenues is negative and creates fear. Commercials (if you still watch them) remind you of what you lack, and what you need to buy to feel better about yourself. Same goes for Insta, Facebook and the ilk – unfollow and find your own path.
In all your free time, read, go for a walk, play with your kids, talk and really connect with your partner.
3. Understand the difference between Optimism and Realism.
Yes, I have been called a Pollyanna, however, I think it is more efficient and useful to operate from a position of optimism and expect the best. Being realistic is definitely useful when you are buying a house, a car or figuring out which college your kids go to. However, having an optimistic outlook helps fuel people’s dreams, keeps them going when things get tough and limits negative self-talk (of which we definitely have way too much).
4. Read this book – “Learned Optimism – How to Change your Mind and Your Life” by Dr. Martin Seligman.
Dr. Seligman is considered the father of “positive psychology” and offers insights and techniques to change negative habits and learn the “optimism” skill. I read it back in the ‘90s but it is still relevant today.
5. Take total responsibility for your life.
That way you won’t waste any time and effort on “not my fault…life isn’t fair…yada, yada” and move on.
6. Figure out what you really believe in.
Examine your beliefs. Are they something you have been holding onto for years, like clothes you just can’t part with? Discard what doesn’t work for you anymore and make room for ideas which support who you are now.
7. Eliminate anything you are procrastinating about or that is incomplete.
Make a list of everything you are tolerating or procrastinating about. Now pick one item off the list and do something about it right now. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Getting rid of things that are hanging around frees up your energy and gives you a boost of self-esteem. So get on it.
8. Get clarity about what you truly want.
Optimism blossoms in an environment in which we can see clearly exactly what we most want in life. Today it is difficult to know what that is, with all of the things competing for your attention, whether at work, at home or online.
9. Join me for a group Visionboard session either December 28 or January 18.
This is a great opportunity to examine those core beliefs, get clarity on what you truly want, and put it all together in a visual package that will support you in 2020. Set Your Intentions 2020 - Details can be found right here.