positive-thinkingI ran across this article on the Huffington Post about someone who went 21 days without complaining. He spoke about how much a difference he felt by doing this and it got me thinking about myself.

His inspiration was sparked by Will Bowen, a minister who wrote “A Complaint Free World.”

It has definitely not been a great year with so many aspects of my life that I felt like I needed a big shift in my energy.  For some reason, the juju in my life is misaligned right now and I need a karmic shift.

By nature, I’m an optimist, so for me thinking negative thoughts is very draining. Over the past year, as hard as I have tried to be positive, at times I have definitely thought negatively and I hate this aspect about myself. So it is time for a change.  I never was that jaded in life and I really don’t want to be and I’ve asked myself how I’ve gotten here.

Negative thinking really is detrimental for your health.  It causes stress and as my dad says, shortens your life.  Here is a study from the Mayo Clinic on it.

I am going to do a 3 month challenge of positive thinking. In life, because I’m in the budget world, I think of everything in quarters.  I even got mad at the whale sharks for migrating to Cancun during 4th quarter, don’t they know it’s the worst time of year for finance people?  We have to close out the year!

As I reflected, I realized we all complainers in some sense, it’s part of the environment we were raised in and it’s increasingly worst in big metro areas like DC where complaining is just part of our daily life, almost a necessity to fit in, to bond.

Complaining, tattling, or throwing someone under the bus is what moves you up in the work-place and I think that spreads into your personal life very easy, hence making you become another complainer.  I see it in my team, where they complain about workload, projects, teammates and even after a team member has departed our team.

If it’s not other negative people bringing you down, it’s an event or incident that seems completely unfair and out of our control.  The thought that you are the magnet of everything “Murphy’s Law” related.  A car accident, unexpected illness, death, loss of funds, etc…

And the reality is that you will face this throughout your life and the only person who can change the mentality is you.  You won’t be able to change the perspective of other people, you can only change yours.

werI do believe that the positive thoughts you put out in the world will be rewarded in the end. If you put out negative thoughts, negative things happen.  The best way to look at life is positively.

Thinking positively not only gives you hopes, but it gives you an end goal. It also makes you a happier person overall too.

So let’s all start this challenge together:

  1. Get rid or try to get rid of the negative impacts in your life. This can be anything from work, friends, family, etc… There are times when you can’t or don’t have the luxury of getting rid of the negative impacts immediately like with work. You can’t get out of it until you either get a new job or quit and who has the freedom to just quit like we were 16 years old?  Not me and probably not you.  But you can distance yourself from them.
  2. No complaining. It will be hard, but if someone starts complaining to you, try and change the topic.  If something bad happens, state the facts.  Complaining is much different that saying something bad happened.  For example, if the metro was late and you were stuck in a crowded train for 2 hours, don’t start yelling at people, instead just take a deep breath and play some Panda Pop.  Consider it your down time?!?
  3. Make someone accountable for your actions.  If you are caught complaining there should be some type of reprimand.  For example, each time I complain I put a dollar in the complain jar and at the end of the 3 months, that money goes to charity.
  4. Try to stick it out.  There might be times when you slip, it’s okay.
  5. Put goals in place. If you can put together a goal, a path to follow and realize how things are turning out favorably, it gives more motivation to be positive.

I took time to write down 15 things I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2016.  These are things I’ve always wanted to do, but I haven’t put enough effort into it.  Yes these might be lofty goals, but if I think positively then it should happen, or even if I miss a few, at least I got a good portion done.

  1. Lose 50 lbs by eating healthy and re-committing to the gym
  2. Get 3 certifications for IT security
  3. Sign up for Real Estate Courses
  4. Move to a new home
  5. Be debt free except for the mortgage
  6. Go on one big international family vacation
  7. Purchase a new SLR to start doing photography again
  8. Have a yard sale to clean out all my old and unused items (I am a secret hoarder)
  9. Send more gifts to my family. I send presents on big holidays, but I need to be better at “just because” gifts
  10. Get a new job
  11. Learn how to doodle henna. This was inspired by Debbie.
  12. Learn Spanish. Again always on my to-do and I have a neighbor that I can practice with, but I’m lazy.
  13. Visit 4 countries next year.
  14. Start saving towards an emergency fund. I have savings, but it’s not specifically for an emergency fund, which we all need.
  15. Expand my blog- Yes and you all can help me with that!

So hopefully, we can all stay positive together and see a change in our life, our health, and our environment. Let’s start putting good juju into the world.  I would love for you to share your goals if you have them as well.

2 Replies to “Positive Thinking Challenge”

  1. I LOVE that!!!! You inspire me. I especially love the idea of putting a dollar in a “complaining jar” that goes to charity after. Thank you!!! One of my favorite quotes is, “no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

    Thanks for reminding me how important this is – and good luck with your goals!

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