Photo: Edward Blackbeard “Teach” By Dunechaser via Flickr
As I reflect on the past year looking towards the future I am reminded of my ninth grade history teacher. Upon the close of the school year he counseled us that if we wanted to have a successful year come next fall we would have to come to school believing that our classes will not be difficult. On the first day of school that fall I walked onto the campus sure of my future successes. It was not long before my phobia of exams triumphed leaving me feeling defeated like an extinguished flame.
This mind over matter mantra was most apparent at school and church dances. Some of my friends who lingered by the wall would always complain afterwards that they were bored. I never shared their lack of enthusiasm for these activities because I always had fun. I think what helped me most was my brother. He taught by his example to go out there and have fun. No one ever critized his corny… I mean fabulous dancing. We all thought he was “way cool”. I went to the dance with a mind set that I was going to have fun no matter what. Some of my friends on the wall believed that the event should make them happy regardless of the effort or lack of effort they put forth. A few others showed up at the event convinced it was going to be boring. The stood along the walk filling their heads with idle criticisms.
As we come face to face with new opportunities we can’t afford to allow negative thoughts to take residence within our conscience. If we believe we are going to fail we will most definitely fail. However, if we stand tall with confidence, a host to an abundance of positive thoughts, we have a better chance at succeeding. Moreover, a positive attitude will help us overcome disappointment in the unlikely event that things do not happen as planned. With a positive attitude in command we are more likely to entertain pleasant feelings and constructive thoughts. This euphoria gives us joy which in turn lends us energy. Thus, our happiness can lead to better health and ultimately more confidence.
Our attitude plays a pivitol part in our daily achievements. My favorite yoga instrutor tried to encourage us when he would say, “you must put in what you want to get back.” My mind knew that bending my knees deeper in Warrior prose was going to push my thighs to their limit. If I wanted more results from my workout I needed to change my attitude and work harder. If we want to be positive we must act and think positive. Gossiping, criticizing others and ourselves and other unkind selfish behaviors will only produce negativity. Not everyone is a positive thinker. But we can all strive to become more positive. To begin start thinking as least one positive thought a day. You can even keep a journal to reflect back on each week.
As I approach the new year I admit I am hesitant at the distant probabilities that a new year brings. It is the feeling knowing I should workout today but I really do not feel like it. This month’s resolution is attitude. I need a positive attitude going into the new year. I do not know why I dread the unknown so much this time around. I do know that my preemptive worrying will quickly squash any hope of change. I also know that if I want a successful year I need to put in what I want back and do so with a positive attitude. The question is what exactly do I want this year to bring? What do I want to accomplish?
Goals rely on three components to guarantee success.
The first is Visualization. Visualize your goal. Goals can be personal accomplishments or they can be a vision you have for your family. Map out every detail from start to finish. What is your goal? What are the steps you need to accomplish that goal? What do you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to meet the requirements for each step. Display the goal or goals where you can see them. Go over the goals daily as a family.
Second, be Prepared. If you are on a diet you would make sure there is always something healthy to eat at work and at home. Take the time to do the necessary things needed to prepare for each day. Every morning and evening look over the details on your list. Schedule your time accordingly.
Third, keep your Thoughts in check. Negative thoughts, doubts, reservations and excuses must be turned off immediately. In the visualization stage come up with a game plan to avert potential pitfalls. When I reach my limit of patience with my children I tell them I am “brain dead”. They have learned to give me a few moments to relax and pull the broken pieces of my mind back together. If you have to walk past the kitchen constantly at work and office treats are your weakness you can politely ask coworkers to limit them to once a week or keep them at their desk. A brisk walk will help take the edge off a craving. If you do give in and snack at least you burned a few calories first. You can sing songs, read a book, do deep breathing exercises or a reward. Find what will work best for you to get those positive thoughts back on track.
A positive attitude means understanding that if you do not try you will never know. If you fail at least now you know what you need to work on. A positive attitude will allow you to enjoy life to the fullest. Even accomplish goals you never thought possible.