As the New Year begins, I encourage you to be mindful about the attitudes and beliefs you are projecting into the world and internalizing. Are you always waiting for the bad, instead of looking for the good? Do you find yourself scanning for potential problems before they have even happened? Do you spend a lot of worrying and focusing on the negative?
Humans were genetically designed to scan for trouble to protect us from harm. It’s in our DNA! We were programmed to search for problems, pitfalls, and what ifs. As early humans we scanned for predators, shelter, and food. As we have evolved, so have our problems, but our internal wiring remains the same. That’s why it can be difficult to stop the negative thoughts from taking shape and acting on them. The good news is that with practice, it can be done!
Are you ready to see the jar half full?
Here are three exercises to strengthen and train your mind to scan for the good.
- Make a miracle jar. Get a see through glass jar and put it on your desk or somewhere that you will see it daily. Each time something good happens, write it down with the date and put it in the jar. It can be a word or a sentence. The things you place in the jar can be anything from losing weight, to getting a call from someone you haven’t heard from in years, to getting an unexpected check, to closing a new client, to watching a beautiful sunset, or to having a nice evening with your family. Put anything that you feel thankful for in that jar. Before the calendar gets to March, you will probably find that your glass is half full. By the end of the year, it will be overflowing. This exercise is a powerful visual and an effective way to train the brain to search for the good. At the end of the year, empty your jar and read through all the good that your year held.
- Keep a daily gratitude list. Write down 10 things that you are grateful for each day. Some days the list will be easy and other days it will be more difficult. To take this to the next level, share your list with friends. You can create a gratitude group among fiends and share your lists. When you feel like checking Facebook, check the group email instead. It will keep you focused on the good.
- Be the leader of your thoughts. For a set amount of time daily, do not say anything negative or complain. Start with 60-minute intervals where you are mindful about the words you speak. Although you may find yourself thinking the thoughts, do not let them leave your lips. You may find yourself speaking less, but soon enough you will feel more positive and have a better outlook on life. At the very least, you won’t be adding to the negative stream that is an undercurrent in the world today.
Whatever your 2016 goals, wishes, and dreams are, be sure to surround yourself with people who can support you and cheer you on. The things we focus on, both good and bad, grow. I challenge you to focus on the good and watch what happens this year.
If you would like to kick 2016 off right and experience coaching for yourself, I invite you to enjoy a complimentary Sweet 16 session.
May your cup be half full!
Any Lengths Life Coaching
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