Monday, September 10, 2012

Being POSITIVE - 3 steps!

As I mentioned early last week that I'm making a point to be more positive.  This takes a conscious effort on my part to act and think positively when at times it's just so damn easy to be negative.

So here's what I'm doing:

1.  First, I'm setting small, realistic, achievable goals.  WHAT?!!!  For someone who is used to doing the opposite: making large, unrealistic, unachievable goals, this is a hard step for me.  I always want to accomplish A LOT (perhaps, too much!) which might be the reason why I set such high totally unachievable goals in the first place.  Then I wonder why I can't take on the world.  I feel like a failure and the vicious cycle goes round and round.  SOOOOO, I'm doing something different.  I've got 3 kinds of goals: monthly, weekly, and daily.  These goals focus on various forms of health - mind, body and spirit.

The Breakdown -- 

Monthly goal:

My monthly September goal is to refrain from eating sugar.  Now I give myself some leeway since I know I can't completely cut sugar out just yet.  So for example, I'm still drinking diet drinks and alcohol even though I know sugar (or fake sugar!) is an ingredient.  No Sugar September, to me, means consciously choosing to say no to sweets, like no pie for dessert.

My weekly goals are simple: 

Week 1 - hang out with family --> I invited my family over for supper this week, had a study date with my brother, and made coffee plans with my aunt & uncle (all of which I would not have done had this not been my goal of the week).

Week 2 - make new friends --> this week I'm going to have supper with Jolene, a fellow blogger that I haven't met in person.  Also, I ran into an old high school acquaintance in the shopping mall the other day so I have plans to call her to see if she'd like to go for a walk.

Week 3 - no diet drinks 

Week 4 - exercise 3 times

Daily goals:

My daily goals range from how I'm feeling everyday and how much time I can commit, but they are a free for all.  The only rule for the day is that I need to complete one goal.  That's it!  So for example, one day I wanted to eat a super healthy breakfast.  After I did that I allowed myself permission to eat whatever the hell I wanted throughout the day without feeling bad.  After all, I met my daily goal.  

So other daily goals include: say nice things to my husband, go for a walk, take a bath, and meditate.  I can't believe how empowering it feels to accomplish these small but important tasks.  I feel so GREAT!

If you could help me with ideas about what else I can do for my daily goals that would be wonderful!

2.  The second thing I'm doing to make sure I choose positivity is to be careful with negative talk.  It's easy to complain about things and situations when they don't go the way we perceive they should.  When things start challenging our way of thought because they are different or not the way we want things to be we have to stop and think before we react.  What is causing us to feel threatened?  Is it possible that there is another way to handle this situation, even if it's not the way I would deal with it?

This leads quite nicely into a discussion about venting.  It is my believe that when you vent to someone, it is a two-way street.  In other words, if someone is going to tell me about how much they hate this or that I'm going to respond to what they say.  The reverse is also true.  If I'm complaining about my husband for example, it is only fair that the listener makes statements from their own observations.  I need to remember to listen with open ears and not respond in defence if their comments are also negative observations of what my husband does or doesn't do, for instance.  

This situation came up recently with my dear friend (hello, dear friend!).  I told her that she can no longer vent to me unless she is willing to hear what I have to say back.  I found that I was holding on to what she was saying and that the negative energy that she was letting go of was starting to bottle up in me.  I was starting to feel frustrated about a situation that wasn't even about me.  I felt like I needed to vent after being vented to.  I kind of felt helpless and like I took on my friends problems as my own.  Now I know 100% that was not the position my friend wanted to put me in, but somehow I got there.  And in order to 'get out of there' I asked my friend not to place me in that situation.  In order to be happy, it's important to surround yourself with happy people! 

(side note: don't get me wrong, I certainly am willing to listen to my friend's problems)

3.  The third technique I have when trying to choose a more positive life is to look at what I can control.  This is advice that I received from a friend while I was living in Korea.  She taught me to look at a situation and analyze it in two ways:  First, decide what you cannot control.  Then, don't spend your energy or focus on that.  Next, look at what power you have or what you can control in the situation.  Then you decided what the next course of action is.  This is important because it shifts our attention away from complaining about someone or something to putting us into action to make attempts to remedy the situation.  

Soooooooo, today my goals was to "offer words of support".  I hope this blog did just that!


Jennifer Schaub said...

I started reading your blog through my friend Homegirl (sorry Amy in Cheonan, South Korea). And it is now one of those blogs that I follow frequently.
Thank you for your wonderful, honest words...I enjoy reading them.

A goal. What about writing a card, letter to your family in Korea (and write it in Korean). Easy daily goal...

I may have to join you on this daily, weekly, monthly goal thing. Its a good idea...and definately something I could help myself with.
Take Care,

Why am I here??? said...

Hey Jenn,

You should totally set M, W, D goals for yourself. And then you can encourage me when I'm feeling down. The idea of a card is AWESOME. I'm going to do it for my family in Korea AND my friends that I've lost touch with. What a lovely idea. Thanks!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Great goals girl!!! I am excited for dinner on Wednesday!!

Foreigner Joy said...

Daily goal.

Admire the outdoors. Look out the window...appreciate the sun on your back.

Watch your feet when you walk and appreciate how you walk and where it takes you.


Anonymous said...

Great goals!!
You are such a intelligent person!
Go Jenn Go!!!

Anonymous said...

I also sometimes make lists of small daily goals. They often include cleaning places that are often skipped or organising things. For example: clean on top of fridge; repack boiler room; organise underwear drawer; choose one pair of shoes that i don't wear to get rid of; de-lint all clothes that need to be delinted even if i'm only going to wear them in a few months; organise and repack tupperware; unpack bookshelf and clean properly; etc. A nicer goal: go out to buy nice flowers. Don't get the best deal or the cheapest stuff, buy the bunch that you would buy for someone that you want to treat. And give it to yourself. Then enjoy for days without feeling guilty. You deserve it.

Amy said...

I think that this is a really great way to go about things! I have a similar system, though not as detailed, but I think I'd like to try adopting something a little bit similar. I could use more positivity (if that's a word?!) in my life, and this would be a good way to poke more of that in here and there :) Woot!

I do hope that it continues to work for you and that it feels "easier" to meet goals more often. I guess I mean that the more you do the little positive goals, the more I think that it will just develop into a regular positive habit :)

Why am I here??? said...

All of those are wonderful ideas. I especially like the one about cleaning/ doing small things that get neglected.

ashattack said...

I think this is a great way to hold yourself accountable without being to hard on yourself. I want to try something similar I think. Keep sharing!