Another year, another January in which we make Resolutions for change in the year ahead. But how many of those Resolutions have actually come to fruition in years past? Probably not many. Statistics have shown that roughly 45 percent of people make Resolutions each year, and only 8 percent of them actually achieve their goals.
So maybe it’s time we stop making New Year Resolutions and start using the power of positive thinking to bring real changes into our lives. And you won’t have to do it alone: we’re going to be doing it right along with you! We’ve developed a new series for 2017 to help us all find actionable ways to be better versions of ourselves. Our goal for January? Say “yes!” to everything!
The Very Real Power of Positive Thinking
A positive attitude is the first step on the road to making long-lasting life changes and creating a better you! Scientists have done a multitude of studies on the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude and the results, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
- Increased lifespan
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Stronger resistance to the common cold
- Better physical and psychological well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills in times of stress
People who use the power of positive thinking have also proven to be happier people. They take advantage of opportunities that come their way, aren’t afraid to try new things and work through any anxieties to welcome change into their lives.
So, how can we use a positive attitude to achieve our goals for 2017?
Saying “no” is usually much easier than “yes,” but no won’t encourage you to go outside of your comfort zone. Instead of making the commitment to saying “yes” to everything for the entire year like you would with New Year resolutions, let’s start with a month. For the month of January, challenge yourself to take a moment before responding to a new request and think about what would happen if you chose to say “yes” instead. You might find yourself experiencing life in new and more enjoyable ways.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways to learn how to turn a knee-jerk reaction of “no” into a “yes”:
- Practice gratitude. By starting and ending each day with a positive attitude, you’ll set the tone for saying “yes” throughout the day. If you are struggling to find things that you are grateful for, start small. For example, you can be grateful in the morning for having another day out in the world, or at night you can show gratitude for a beautiful sunset.
- Laugh it off. Humor is a great way to give yourself permission to make light of situations that may initially seem difficult or uncomfortable. Laughter is also a great stress reliever!
- Be kind to yourself. All of us deserve a break every now and then, including from ourselves. Allowing yourself the space to make mistakes and move forward will help you to continue saying “yes” to new opportunities. Positive self-talk means that you wouldn’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else and remain both gentle and encouraging. If you find yourself slipping into a negative thought space, give yourself a timeout and list off three things that you love about yourself to get you back on track!
- Surround yourself with positive people. If you find that there are certain people in your life who create more negative energy for you than positive, then it might be time to rethink those relationships. Surrounding yourself with people who have a positive attitude are bound to be more supportive of you and the goals you are trying to accomplish.
Commit to A Positive Attitude
While none of us know what life may have in store for us in 2017, making a commitment to maintaining a positive attitude regardless of what life brings our way is an admirable goal. Whether you call them New Year Resolutions or not, choosing to be a better you in 2017 is a cause worth fighting for.